Skip to main content

1992: Rigsbee Retires. Watson Named President, CEO and Chairman


Upon his retirement, William Rigsbee said:
"To survive and prosper, a company must provide an adequate return to its shareholders, good products reasonably priced to its customers and the incentive for growth to its field force and employees.  My job as chief executive officer of Midland National has been to balance all of these sometime conflicting objectives."
In 1992, after serving thirty-five years, John C. "Jack" Watson left his role as president of another insurance company to become CEO, president and chairman of Midland National.  His positive message began:
"Now is the time to get highly excited about the Midland National opportunity and share it with your clients, business associates, teammates and potential customers."

Popular posts from this blog

1906: Company Founded In The Black Hills Of South Dakota

The company that would eventually evolve into Midland National Life Insurance Company was born on a late summer evening in the Black HIlls of South Dakota.

Meeting at the Smead Hotel in Lead, South Dakota, a group of six men (John Walsh, Joseph Moore, Charles Turney, Claude Sterling, Daniel Bannister, and Fred Smith) elected officers for a company to be known as Dakota Mutual Life Insurance Company.  They also authorized the publishing of "legal notice of the company's intention to begin business."

The meeting culminated from months of planning.  Records show expenses dating from May 1906.  Evidently, the proposed name was under debate until shortly before the August meeting since a draft of the Articles of Incorporation was submitted to the South Dakota Secretary of State under the name of "Western Mutual Life Insurance Company."  The company was incorporated on August 30, 1906, and commenced business on September 4.

To capitalize the new company, the directo…

1961: William Rigsbee Named President

In November 1961, William Rigsbee was named president of Midland National.  For the next 31 years, Rigsbee, as president and chief executive officer, set Midland National on a course of unparralleled growth, stability and financial strength.

He established the Regional Sales Director (RSD) program and set in motion a belief that he carried with him through his entire career with Midland National Life - give the agent three things:

1.  Excellent products.
2.  A contract that rewards the agent for superior performance.
3.  The company service philosophy that, "The most important person is the one who makes the sale."

Under his leadership, the company increased life insurance policies in force from $275 million to $50 billion; and achieved a compound annual growth rate of 15% while maintaining superior industry ratings and a high quality investment portfolio.*

*Source: Midland National internal information, 1961.

1981: Midland National Celebrates 75 Years in the Insurance Industry

Midland National’s 75th anniversary celebration kicked off with newspaper ads and radio spots proclaiming, “As we look forward to our 75th Anniversary, we salute our people… more than three hundred reasons why Midland National is a great insurance company. We wish you could meet all of them because these are the people with the talent, the skill, and the ideas that make us a strong, successful, growing company.”