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Dirk Kempthorne to Head Insurance Group

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September 8, 2010 by   Leave a Comment

Dirk Kempthorne

Dirk Kempthorne

C. Robert Henrikson, chairman of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and chairman, president and CEO of MetLife Inc., announced today (Sept. 8) the appointment of Dirk A. Kempthorne as president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) effective Nov. 3.

Kempthorne will succeed Frank Keating, who has led ACLI since January 2003, according to a news release.

Kempthorne, who will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Convention/Expo in Las Vegas next month, has a distinguished public servant, Kempthorne was appointed the 49th United States Secretary of the Interior in May 2006 and served in that capacity until January 2009. Previously, Kempthorne was elected governor of Idaho in 1998 and 2002. He represented the state of Idaho in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999 and was the mayor of Boise, Idaho, from 1986 to 1993.

As governor, Kempthorne chaired the National Governors Association and the Western Governors Association and served as the president of the Council of State Governments and a member of the Homeland Security Task Force.

“The members of ACLI are excited about Dirk Kempthorne taking the reins of our dynamic organization,” declared Chairman Henrikson.

“Life insurers help provide financial and retirement security to 75 million families. Dirk will be a tremendous asset in advocating for an industry that plays a vital role in Americans’ lives,” he said.

“Dirk’s excellent reputation in Washington, coupled with his understanding and appreciation of state regulation of insurance, is a unique and valuable resource for the industry and regulators alike during this time of evolving regulatory relationships in the U.S. and around the world. He will be an effective representative of an industry that invests over $4.5 trillion in America’s economy and is one of the leading sources of job-creating investment capital,” Henrikson said.

“I’m extremely honored to be associated with the more than 300 distinguished companies that provide life insurers’ products and services for Americans in every state,” Kempthorne said. “ACLI is well regarded in Washington and in the states for the ways its member companies help families protect their assets today while planning for the future. A healthy, vibrant life insurance industry was a key partner as I led the State of Idaho through the last economic downturn – while maintaining Idaho’s highest possible bond rating. It is even more critical in today’s challenging economy for insurers to maintain open communications and promote understanding with our national and state leaders, and I’m excited to lead that effort.”

“Dirk will have very big shoes to fill. Since joining ACLI, Frank Keating has made significant contributions to the life insurance industry. He dramatically increased membership, CEO involvement and the overall effectiveness of the organization. He has been a first-class advocate for the life insurance industry during one of the most eventful periods in life insurers’ history,” Henrikson said.

“Governor Kempthorne, with his unique background of having served in both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government as well as governor, is widely respected on both sides of the aisle. His vision, common-sense, and pro-business philosophies make him an excellent choice to lead ACLI,” said Dennis L. Johnson, president and CEO of United Heritage Life Insurance in Idaho and a member of the ACLI Board of Directors. “As an Idahoan, I am very proud to have one of our own leading up this dynamic organization. Insurance companies invest more than $14 billion in Idaho’s economy and more than half a million Idahoans carry life insurance.”

Kempthorne and his wife Patricia are residents of Boise and both are University of Idaho graduates. The couple has two grown children, Heather and Jeff.

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association with more than 300 legal reserve life insurer and fraternal benefit society member companies operating in the United States. ACLI members represent more than 90% of the assets and premiums of the life insurance and annuity industry. In addition to life insurance and annuities, ACLI member companies offer pensions, 401(k) and other retirement plans, long-term care and disability income insurance, and reinsurance. ACLI’s public website can be accessed at www.acli.com.

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