Dan Neary Announces Retirement; James Blackledge Named Mutual of Omaha CEO
OMAHA, Neb., March 10, 2015 – Mutual of Omaha Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Neary has announced his retirement as CEO effective April 1, 2015. He will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, the company announced.
The Mutual of Omaha Board of Directors has appointed James T. Blackledge as CEO, effective April 1, and elected him to the company's Board.
Blackledge, who joined Mutual in 1989, was named Mutual's president in November. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer/Chief Risk Officer, where he oversaw all of the company's technology applications and systems infrastructure as well as enterprise risk management.
"Mutual of Omaha is a company of strength, innovation and integrity with a very bright future, thanks to Dan Neary's leadership," Blackledge said. "I am honored by this opportunity to work with an excellent leadership team and a talented, engaged workforce in growing our business, serving our customers and preserving the superior reputation of our company."
Blackledge joined Mutual in 1989 as senior actuarial assistant. He served for 14 years in various leadership roles within the Group Benefit Services business unit and six years as Senior Vice President and Product Line Officer in the company's Individual Financial Services business unit. In 2009 he was named Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and in 2012 also became Chief Risk Officer. He was named President in November of 2014.
Blackledge earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his master's degree in business administration from Creighton University. He is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a fellow in the Society of Actuaries, and an affiliate member of the CFA Institute.
Neary joined Mutual of Omaha as an actuary and went on to hold a number of key management positions within the group insurance area. He was appointed president of Mutual of Omaha in August 2003. He was named chairman and CEO in December 2004. Under his leadership, Mutual of Omaha:
- Transformed underutilized property into Midtown Crossing at Turner Park, a residential/retail development that has re-energized Midtown Omaha.
- Implemented a core product strategy that brought focus to business lines that offer the greatest potential for the company.
- Launched Mutual of Omaha Bank, one of the fastest-growing banks in the nation.
- Achieved record earnings and steady growth in policyholder surplus while maintaining employment for thousands through the Financial Crisis and Great Recession.
- Created the Mutual of Omaha Foundation to ensure that the company's positive impact on the Omaha community continues in perpetuity.
- Took a leadership role in numerous citywide initiatives that raised Omaha's profile and enhanced quality of life.
Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance, banking and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States.