Pacific Life Insurance Company announced today that Darryl Button has been named CEO-Elect and will become president and CEO of Pacific Life, succeeding chairman, president and CEO Jim Morris, on April 1, 2022, upon Mr. Morris’ retirement.
Button, currently the company’s chief financial officer, will be only the 15th chief executive in Pacific Life’s 154-year history. In addition, the board of directors of Pacific Mutual Holding Company, the ultimate parent company of Pacific Life, has named Mariann Byerwalter as its non-executive board chair beginning April 1, 2022.
Button joined Pacific Life in 2017, bringing with him significant experience overseeing corporate and financial strategies, and he has been instrumental in improving Pacific Life’s financial strength. He is responsible for the company’s finance, risk management and corporate development functions, as well as Pacific Life’s investment organizations responsible for overseeing over $119 billion in assets in Pacific Life’s general account.
Button has also overseen the creation of a new business division in 2020 focused on serving institutional clients with pension risk transfer and 401(k) plan investment solutions.
“Darryl is a proven leader who has a deep knowledge of the insurance industry and a commitment to the financial security our products provide to our policyholders,” said Morris. “He understands the balance between strategic growth and risk management that will ensure Pacific Life’s continued success.”
Prior to joining Pacific Life in March 2017, Button served for 17 years at Aegon where his last role was chief financial officer and a member of the Executive Board of Aegon N.V. He began his career at Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Canada and is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA), and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). He holds a B.S. in mathematics, actuarial science and statistics from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
“I am honored by the Board’s decision and their vote of confidence, and I look forward to the continued growth and transformation of this storied company,” said Button. “Pacific Life has talented and passionate employees at its core and together we will continue our journey of being the company of choice providing financial security and well-being through industry-leading innovation.”
Following his planned retirement in April 2022, current Chairman, President and CEO Jim Morris will continue to serve as a director on the board of Pacific Mutual Holding Company through the conclusion of his elected term in May 2023. He began his almost 40-year career at Pacific Life following his graduation from the University of California, Los Angeles and held a series of management positions in the Life Insurance and Corporate Divisions before his election as CEO on April 2, 2007. During his 15-year tenure as CEO, assets of the company have almost doubled from $101 billion to $198 billion. The endowment of the Pacific Life Foundation has also more than doubled from $63 million to $130 million during this same time period.
“Jim’s passion for Pacific Life, our industry, and the value our products provide is evident to all he meets,” said Button. “He led Pacific Life through some significant economic challenges, including the 2008 financial crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic, all while building a culture focused on customer service, growth, and innovation that has well-positioned Pacific Life for continued success.”
As part of this transition, the board of directors will create the role of non-executive board chair. Mariann Byerwalter has served on the Pacific Mutual Holding Company board of directors since 2005 and has been its lead director since 2019.
“I would like to thank Jim for his exceptional leadership as chairman, president and CEO,” said Byerwalter. “He is a true leader in our industry, with an unwavering commitment to uphold our mission. Jim will leave a strong legacy and an organization well-positioned for the future. I look forward to his continued service on our board.”
Byerwalter continued, “After a strong multi-year succession planning process, I am pleased to congratulate Darryl on his well-deserved ascension to president and CEO. With Darryl’s industry knowledge, strategic vision and stewardship, the Board is confident he is the right person at the right time to successfully lead Pacific Life.”