James Kemper Jr., heir to the founder of Kemper Insurance
, died last Tuesday at age 88. Kemper became chairman and ceo of the firm in 1969, more than half a century after his father founded it in 1912. The cause of his death was not reported.
He retired in 1979 and continued to serve as the chairman of both Kemper Insurance and Kemper Corp., which included the firm's fund arm, until 1986.
Kemper had helped expand the firm beyond the property-casualty insurance business. In 1970 he led its entry into the financial services arena with the formation of Kemper Financial Services, which later became Kemper Corp.
Zurich Financial purchased Kemper Corp. in 1996 and merged it with it Scudder before selling the unit to Deutsche Bank last year.
Kemper's intermediary-sold fund group had been highly-successful before the sale to Scudder. After the sale, Kemper became the Zurich brand for advisors while Scudder was retained as the direct-sold brand.
That changed after Scudder executives won control of the fund complex in the late Nineties. The Kemper brand was then submerged into Scudder, which abandoned its no-load distribution strategy.
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