Sammons Financial Group Names Jerry Blair to Lead Life Division
WEST DES MOINES, IA – October 14, 2021 – Sammons Financial Group today announced it is naming Jerry Blair as the next president of Sammons Life Insurance Group. Blair will replace Steve Palmitier, current president and chief operating officer of Sammons Financial Group’s life business, who announced his plans to retire last June. Blair will lead the life business lines of member companies Midland National and North American.
“I am pleased that through our national search for our next president, we found the ideal candidate within our company,” said Esfand Dinshaw, Sammons Financial Group chief executive officer. “During Jerry’s time with Sammons Financial Group, he has been a critical part of many of the decisions and actions to move our life insurance business forward.”
Blair joined Sammons Financial Group in 2005 and was promoted to Chief Distribution Officer for the life group in January 2019. As a member of the life senior leadership team, Blair worked directly with Palmitier to redefine the company’s go-to-market strategy for the Midland National and North American business lines.
Blair added that his immediate top priorities include an aggressive focus on product development, expanded distribution, and enhanced customer experience. This includes continued investment in technology modernization, capability mapping, and experience prototyping, as well as streamlining internal processes and expediting the end-to-end customer and client experience.
“His hands-on role included supporting the implementation of the life group’s Vision 2025 plans through a specific focus to refine its distribution strategy, plans, and platform,” Dinshaw said. “He is customer-focused and recognizes the importance of our technology and customer and client experience platforms to move the business ahead.”
Blair understands the complexities of the life insurance industry, as well as the inner workings of Sammons Financial Group. Through his support and leadership, the Sammons Life Insurance Group is seeing strong sales and growth in 2021, with total life sales currently well above 2021 plan.
“Jerry has a proven track record of strong leadership and communication skills, broad distribution relationships, and deep industry knowledge and experience,” said Steve Palmitier, current president of the Sammons Life Insurance Group. “He is uniquely qualified to lead our team and business well into the future.”
Sammons Financial Group is committed to a smooth transition in this change in the life division leadership. Blair will report to Palmitier through the end of the year, and then transition to Sammons Financial Group’s senior leadership team. He will report directly to Dinshaw when the change is complete on January 1, 2022.
“I am excited to lead our team of life insurance professionals and to continue to meet the growing needs of our agents and clients,” Blair said. “I also know that I am filling some very big shoes. Steve is a leader in our industry. He has been critical in growing Sammons Financial Group’s life insurance business lines over these past 25 years. I look forward to continuing his great work.”
About Sammons® Financial Group, Inc.
The companies of Sammons® Financial Group, Inc. help families and businesses protect their future to enjoy life’s moments today. A subsidiary of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., Sammons Financial Group is privately owned with member companies that are among the most enduring and stable in the financial services industry. Our companies include Midland National® Life Insurance Company (including Sammons® Corporate Markets); North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®; Sammons Institutional Group® (including Midland Retirement Distributors® and Sammons Retirement Solutions®) and Beacon Capital Management, Inc. Together, we offer today’s most sought-after life insurance, annuity, and retirement planning products. Sammons Financial Group: With You for Every Moment®.