Author: Don Obrien

Pan-American Life shuffles c-suite; head of finance retires, CEO steps down as president | Business News

New Orleans-based Pan-American Life Insurance Group on Thursday announced the retirement of its head of finance and named three co-presidents, an executive-suite reshuffling that hints at the top candidates to lead the insurance firm when its longtime chief executive eventually retires.

Carlos Mickan, Pan-American’s head of finance and administration and the right-hand man to Chief Executive Officer José Suquet, plans to retire at the end of the year, according to a Thursday news release. He will remain on the company’s board of directors.

Carlos Mickan

Carlos Mickan in March, 2019.

Meanwhile, Suquet, who serves as president, CEO and board chairman, will step down as president at the end of the year. He plans to remain CEO and board chairman, and the job of president will be divided between three other Pan-American Life executives.

Steve Friedman, currently the firm’s investment chief and deputy head of finance, will become a co-president overseeing finance and investments. Robert DiCianni, will remain president of global benefits, and Bruce Parker will remain president of global life.

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In the prepared statement, Pan-American Life said the three executives will be in charge of the firm’s corporate strategy and initiatives.

A Pan-American Life spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on the announcement, but the management shuffle potentially sets up a three-way competition for the top job at the firm, which provides insurance and other financial services for nearly 6 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.

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Suquet, 65, has not announced any plans to step down from his other leadership posts. He has run Pan-American Life since 2004, and is credited with reviving a moribund insurance firm that struggled due to a series of unprofitable U.S. ventures into a growing, profitable company focused on its core markets overseas.

Jose S. Suquet 2015_1.jpg

José S. Suquet, Pan-American Life Insurance Group

Mickan served with Suquet for much of that time, and led a number of acquisitions that raised the firm’s asset base to more than $6 billion from $2 billion, according to the news release.

The firm, which maintains its headquarters at 601 Poydras Street, has more than 2,100 employees across its network of offices. It operates in 49 U.S. states and 22 countries.

At age 45, Jose Suquet was ready to retire early and leave the business world for good.

As of the end of 2020, it had assets of more than $6.7 billion. Last year, it posted net income of $48 million, down from $95 million in 2019, on revenue of $1.18 billion.

The firm said higher insurance payouts on COVID-related claims, coupled with a decrease in the value of some of its stock holdings, was behind the 50% drop in profits.

Earlier this year, it was hit by a cyberattack that compromised some of its systems.  Some customer data was stolen.

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Oliver Bolt

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