CARMEL - Carmel-based CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CNO) is making some operational changes to the company which it believes will make CNO a more customer-centric organization and improve the bottom line. The changes will also result in job losses in both leadership and associate roles.

The company has announced it is realigning the operating model from three business segments into two divisions – consumer and worksite.

"As part of these changes, we are reducing our national workforce by approximately 230 positions, across our corporate locations in Carmel, Chicago and Philadelphia and our sales offices. We will also add approximately 20 new roles in key areas to give us the skillsets and experience needed in our new structure," said company spokesperson Valerie Dolenga.

CNO says the structure changes will make it leaner, more agile and more integrated by the consolidation of business units and reducing overhead.

The company says the new consumer division will serve individual consumers directly, whether it's online or with agents while the worksite division will focus on group sales for businesses, associations, and other membership groups.

“Consumers increasingly want to choose how to be served—whether to meet with an agent face-to-face, speak with an agent over the phone or at work, or shop online,” said CNO Chief Executive Officer Gary Bhojwani. “Our new structure will capitalize on the strengths of our top five captive agent force and our top five direct-to-consumer business to enable our middle-market consumers to better access our products, irrespective of distribution or brand."

The company says it expects the changes to reduce gross annual run-rate spending by approximately $22 million by the end of 2020. CNO says it expects to incur a pre-tax charge of approximately $14 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, due mainly to severance and previously announced IT restructuring.

CNO says it will continue to market its products under three brands: Bankers Life, Washington National, and Colonial Penn.