Bellevue-based Symetra announces new leadership roles

  • Saturday, September 9, 2017 3:20pm
  • Business

Symetra Financial Corporation recently announced that its board of directors has approved a series of executive appointments designed to strengthen and solidify the company’s leadership succession plans as the organization moves into the future. Chief Financial Officer Margaret Meister has been named as Symetra’s next president and chief executive officer. Current president and CEO Tom Marra will remain with the company as executive chairman, while Tommie Brooks, senior vice president and chief actuary, will succeed Ms. Meister as executive vice president and chief financial officer. The appointments will become effective Feb. 1, 2018.

“Adding Dan’s dedicated leadership to Individual Life will ensure the close attention and broad vision required to accelerate growth for this critical business line, long term.”

The company also announced that Dan Guilbert, executive vice president, Retirement Division, will add leadership of the Individual Life Division to his responsibilities, effective immediately. Symetra has evolved into a market leader in the fixed annuity space, while Individual Life, which has been led by Mr. Marra since July 2012, is the company’s fastest-growing division.

“Today’s appointments are an important step in ensuring the long-term continuity of Symetra’s leadership as we continue to advance the company’s national player goals. The announcements are also a testament to our executive team’s deep bench strength as these Symetra veterans—all seasoned leaders—assume new roles,” said Marra.

“Margaret Meister’s clear strategic vision and contributions to Symetra span the breadth of the company. As chief executive, she will bring a combination of financial acumen, business judgment and outstanding leadership, along with the remarkable drive and commitment that have characterized her three decades at Symetra. I cannot think of a more talented or respected leader to take Symetra forward,” said Marra. “As a longtime member of the financial leadership team, Tommie Brooks is well positioned to succeed Margaret as chief financial officer. He will continue to serve as chief actuary and will lead our finance, audit services and investor relations teams.”

“Since joining Symetra in 2010, Dan Guilbert has turned the Retirement Division into one of our key growth engines, successfully building this core business through diversified product offerings and expanded distribution,” said Marra. “Adding Dan’s dedicated leadership to Individual Life will ensure the close attention and broad vision required to accelerate growth for this critical business line, long term.”

Leadership Background:

Tom Marra

Tom Marra joined Symetra in June 2010 as president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial Corporation and its insurance subsidiaries. He serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Mr. Marra has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a director of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and a past chairman of the board of the ACLI and of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI). In October 2011, Mr. Marra was inducted into the IRI Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions and leadership in the insured retirement industry. Full bio.

Margaret Meister

Ms. Meister joined Symetra in May 1988 as an actuarial student. In February 2006, she was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of Symetra Financial Corporation and its insurance subsidiaries. Ms. Meister has led the company’s financial operations and strategy, serving as a liaison between the company and its board of directors and rating agencies. She also has responsibility for the company’s information technology, marketing and corporate communications functions. Full bio.

Dan Guilbert

Dan Guilbert joined Symetra in November 2010 as executive vice president of the Retirement Division for Symetra Financial Corporation and its insurance subsidiaries. He has profit-and-loss responsibility for Symetra’s annuity and structured settlement products, including strategy development, product design and innovation, product marketing, market research, sales, distribution, service and operations. Full bio.

Tommie Brooks

Tommie Brooks has been with Symetra since 1992, starting as an actuarial student in the Retirement Division and going on to hold several management positions with actuarial teams throughout the company.

Mr. Brooks was appointed senior vice president and chief actuary of Symetra Financial Corporation and its insurance subsidiaries in November 2010. As the executive in charge of actuarial functions, Mr. Brooks guides the company’s product pricing strategies and actuarial aspects of financial reporting. Full bio.

Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.

Symetra Financial Corporation had $40.3 billion in assets at Dec. 31, 2016. The company has offices in 20 cities, approximately 2.0 million customers and over 1,500 employees nationwide.

Symetra is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Life Insurance Company.

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