Outgoing Nationwide CEO Sees Growing Sophistication in Distribution Strategies
April 16, 2019 by David Pilla
COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the announcement of his intention to retire as chief executive officer of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. in October, Steve Rasmussen said his hope is he has left the company prepared to “grow on a wide front as I walk out the door.”
Rasmussen said despite 45 years of changes he’s seen, much remains the same. “We’re still battling a lot of the same issues and we still all have to be good stewards of our capital” while managing the company’s way through natural hazards, regulators “and all the things that get thrown at us,” he said.
Noting the company has restructured a lot of its systems and brought a number of companies under the Nationwide brand, Rasmussen said the company streamlined its capabilities to eliminate redundancies. Changes taking place have included distribution forces and the rise of direct marketing, while the industry has gotten more sophisticated and more consolidated in many ways.
Over the past three or four years, a lot of private equity money has come into the distribution side of the business, said Rasmussen, who noted a lot of broker businesses have grown by buying midsize or smaller agencies — a trend that applies not just in the property/casualty world but also in financial services.