National Guardian Life Insurance Names Joseph Celentano CEO

Celentano most recently served as EVP of Pacific Life’s Retirement Solutions Division, increasing profitable annuity sales through the launch of new and innovative annuity products.

(Image credit: Nils Huenerfuerst/Unsplash.)

National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL; Madison, Wisc.) Board of Directors have announced that Joseph (Joe) Celentano will join the Madison Wisconsin-based mutual life insurance company as President & CEO effective May 6. Celentano will also serve on the NGL Board of Directors.

Joseph Celentano, CEO, National Guardian Life.

Celentano has more than 30 years in leadership positions at Pacific Life (Newport Beach, Calif.), a mutual based insurer. He most recently served as EVP of Pacific Life’s Retirement Solutions Division during which he managed the impacts of the Covid pandemic while increasing profitable annuity sales through the launch of new and innovative annuity products.

“Joe’s extensive mutual life experience and risk management expertise combined with his leadership skills will serve us well as he leads NGL’s next phase of growth,” comments Gary Wolter, chair of NGL’s Board of Directors. “He knows the mutual insurance culture, understands the important role our pre-need products have in helping families, and values building partnerships.”

While at Pacific Life, Celentano held a variety of positions ranging from product development officer to divisional CFO, to enterprise-wide Chief Risk Officer. His most recent position was Executive Vice President with overall responsibility for the Retirement Solutions Division. His experience includes co-chairing the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, leading digital transformation efforts and participating in setting overall company strategy.

Gary Wolter, Chair, National Guardian Life Board of Directors.

Poised for Future Success

“I am honored to lead NGL and become part of the team,” comments Celentano. “NGL’s strong financials, leading position in the pre-need market and mutual company culture make NGL poised for future success.”

Kim Shaul, who served as interim CEO, will return to her position as EVP and Chief Legal Officer, working with Celentano for a seamless leadership transition. “On behalf of the NGL Board of Directors I would like to thank Kim for her leadership in keeping the company focused and profitable during the time of the search,” Wolter comments.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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