Business Briefs: Unum Group names Michael Simonds as chief operating officer

Unum Group, which is headquartered in downtown Chattanooga, is boosting its minimum pay to $15 an hour, extending parental leave benefits and adding to its charitable contributions after reporting record profits in 2017.

Unum Group announced Thursday that Michael Q. Simonds, president and CEO of Unum US, has been named to the newly created role of chief operating officer of the company, effective Feb. 1.

The Chattanooga-based Unum said it is eliminating the role of president and CEO of Unum US under its new structure.

Simonds joined Unum in 1994 and has worked in roles in several divisions, including finance, marketing and sales.

Mortgage rates up; 30-year loan at 3.65%

U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose slightly last week after financial markets that had been roiled by the U.S.-Iran conflict stabilized.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.65% from 3.64% last week. The benchmark rate was 4.45%