Sammons Financial Group, Inc. has named Kevin Mechtley to a new role as vice president, business development and chief innovation officer.
In this position, Mechtley will have a dual focus on new product innovation and strategic relationship building. Mechtley – who moves from Sammons Financial Group’s legal team where he led the government affairs unit – will use his vast annuity industry experience and longstanding distribution relationships to further expand Sammons Financial Group’s annuity offerings and competitive position.
“The first half of 2022 has proven to be a time of great activity and market change for Sammons Independent Annuity Group,” said Rob TeKolste, business line President. “As we come off an exceptional year of performance in 2021, we must diligently assess the competitive landscape and support our teams focused on product innovation, sales, and distribution.”
Mechtley will leverage his nearly 20 years of annuity industry experience to lead new product ideation processes, oversee competitive intelligence, and work with annuity group leadership to prioritize business development opportunities for member companies Midland National and North American.
“Understanding the economic climate, the impact of rate changes, and changing customer and distribution channel priorities are always a focus to Sammons Financial Group,” said Mechtley. “The company performs well when faced with challenges. I look forward to seizing our momentum right now and elevating our annuity industry position.”
In order to succeed, Mechtley notes his immediate attention will turn to formalizing a process with dedicated resources to drive new product ideation, refining competitive intelligence efforts, and working with Chief Distribution Officer Bryce Biklen to create opportunities for the sales teams.
“Collaboration, teamwork, and our shared company values are the ingredients to our past success,” said Bryce Biklen, Vice President and Chief Distribution Officer. “We are successful because of our people, and in aligning the right people into the right roles to meet market demands. I am excited about this change and the new opportunities it creates for our sales and distribution efforts.”
Mechtley will report directly to Sammons Independent Annuity Group President Rob TeKolste beginning July 1, 2022. The responsibilities of the other annuity leadership team members remain unchanged.