Kirt Walker has been named Chief Executive Officer-elect of Nationwide. He will assume the top leadership role at the Columbus, Ohio-based insurance and financial services provider on Oct. 1, 2019, succeeding CEO Steve Rasmussen, who earlier this spring announced his decision to retire in the fall.
Walker, with the Nationwide family of companies for 33 years, has served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Nationwide's financial services business lines since 2009. He served 23 years in the property and casualty business, including roles as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nationwide Insurance and President of Allied Insurance, Nationwide's former independent agency subsidiary.
Nationwide's Board of Directors selected Walker following an extensive search process.
"Nationwide has enjoyed tremendous growth and momentum over the past 10 years with Steve at the helm. Kirt Walker has the unique experience and vision to build upon that momentum and lead our company to new heights and a bright future," said Tim Corcoran, chairman of the Board. "The company is well-positioned to grow its core businesses and continue to meet the future needs of our members and partners with new and innovative products and solutions."
Walker has been with Nationwide since 1986, serving in various leadership positions. He will report to Rasmussen and Corcoran until October to facilitate a smooth transition and on-boarding.
"I'm humbled and proud to lead this great company and iconic brand," Walker said. "In the days to come, I look forward to working with Steve Rasmussen, our Board of Directors and the executive leadership team to transition into my new role. I often talk to our people about Nationwide's unfair advantage over our competitors. It starts with our mutual heritage and our diverse portfolio, and it is fueled by our strong culture of caring for our members, partners, communities and each other. I'm incredibly optimistic about our future."
Walker is active in a variety of industry and community organizations. He currently serves as a board member for the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, the American Council of Life Insurers and the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies. Kirt also serves on the American Red Cross Board of Governors, the Columbus State Community College Board of Trustees, and the Board of Directors for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for White Castle restaurant company. He previously served as a board member of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, the New Albany Foundation, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and as a trustee for Grand View College in Des Moines.
"I've watched as Kirt has dedicated himself to this company for the last 33 years," said Rasmussen. "As I reflect on our time working together, he has been an outstanding student of our business and he believes in Nationwide, our culture and our people. Kirt spent 23 years of his career excelling in our property & casualty business, and then seamlessly shifted to lead financial services for 10 years – generating record growth and profits year after year. He knows our business better than anyone and that gives me great confidence in where Nationwide goes from here."
Walker is a graduate of Iowa State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in management. He also holds a Master of Science in management with an emphasis in leadership from The American College.
Corcoran concluded, "We are confident in our future under Kirt's leadership and appreciate the difference Steve has made during his 45 years with the Nationwide family."
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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