Former Sammons Financial Group Chairman and CEO Jack Watson Passes Away

CHICAGO, February 12, 2018—Former Sammons Financial Group (SFG) Chairman and CEO John C. "Jack" Watson passed away on January 24, 2018.

Watson joined Midland National Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., in 1992 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. Four years later, Sammons Financial Holdings (later renamed Sammons Financial Group) was established to hold Sammons Enterprises’ investments in insurance companies, naming Watson the first Chairman and CEO. He retired in 2000 after serving eight years at the company.

“Jack had a huge impact on the company,” said Mike Masterson, former SFG Chairman and CEO, and currently on the board of directors for Midland National and North American Company for Life and Health. “He was responsible for changing the culture and helped set the stage for the significant growth the company has experienced over the last 20 years. Noting the influence Watson had on future leadership, Masterson stated, “Jack also created opportunities for me and a number of senior executives like John Craig (former Midland National president and CEO) and Steve Horvat (former SFG senior vice president and General Counsel). I will always be grateful for everything Jack did for me and for Sammons Financial Group.”

During his tenure, Midland National commemorated $50 billion of life insurance in force, as well as its 90th anniversary in 1996. Under his leadership from 1992 through 2000, Midland National increased life insurance in force from $42.3 billion to $69.3 billion; assets increased from $1.4 billion to $4.1 billion. Upon his retirement in 2000, Sammons Financial Group Member Companies had life insurance in force of $154.6 billion and assets of $5.6 billion.*

Founded as Dakota Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1906, Midland National® Life Insurance Company has protected families and preserved legacies for generations. Midland also offers a wide variety of traditional fixed and fixed index annuities and consistently ranks among the top fixed index annuity carriers in the U.S.

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Sammons® Financial Group is comprised of Midland National® Life Insurance Company, Sammons Independent Annuity GroupSM (a division of Midland National), Sammons® Corporate Markets Group (a division of Midland National), North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, Sammons Retirement Solutions® Inc. and Sammons Financial Network® LLC, member FINRA.

*Midland National internal information