José S. Suquet
José S. Suquet is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG), a leading provider of insurance and financial services throughout the Americas, established in 1911. Mr. Suquet’s leadership and commitment to change have paved the way for growth and success since he joined the company as President and CEO in November 2004.
In his more than 16 years leading the PALIG organization, Mr. Suquet and his management team have more than tripled the size of the company - total assets grew from $1.6 billion to $6.9 billion and GAAP equity grew from $389 million to $1.38 billion - through consistent organic growth and strategic mergers and acquisitions with a renewed focus on life, health and personal accident insurance, while expanding its historical footprint throughout the Americas.
In August 2005, he led New Orleans-based Pan-American Life through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina swiftly establishing an emergency plan which later became an industry case study in disaster recovery. Mr. Suquet’s international industry experience guided his strategy to restructure the group’s operations and focus on core areas of growth opportunity in life and health insurance, while also stabilizing the company’s operational model and implementing a comprehensive Enterprise Risk Management program.
Mr. Suquet was appointed Chairman of the Board of PALIG in January 2008, and despite the subsequent economic downturn, PALIG achieved record revenue growth and operating earnings which increased its total capital to an all-time high. In 2010, A.M. Best upgraded the company's "Financial Strength Rating" from "A-" to "A" and Fitch Ratings reaffirmed "A" rating with a stable outlook.
In 2012 under Mr. Suquet’s leadership, PALIG acquired approximately $675 million in MetLife Alico/Algico assets across 15 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, further establishing the company as a leading insurance carrier in the region. In a strategic initiative to expand the company’s position in the United States market, in 2015, Mr. Suquet led the merger between Pan-American Life Mutual Holding Company and Mutual Trust Holding Company. The combined entity would generate approximately $1 billion in revenue, and hold $5.5 billion in total assets, and $850 million in total capital.
In 2017, PALIG acquires Hola Doctor Inc., leading digital provider of health and wellness solutions for Hispanic audiences. The acquisition is a significant strategic initiative by PALIG that both expands its presence in the U.S. Hispanic market, and strengthens its position as a healthcare leader in Latin America. Mr. Suquet personally sourced the transaction through extensive industry knowledge and contacts.
In 2017, Mr. Suquet was appointed to the Regions Financial Corporation Board of Directors and serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee and member of the Technology Committee. He also serves on the Ochsner Health System Board of Directors where he sits on the Compensation Committee and Audit and Oversight Committee.
Prior to joining PALIG, Mr. Suquet held senior management posts in the insurance industry for more than four decades, including serving as senior executive vice president and chief distribution officer of AXA Financial. He was also involved in professional and industry associations serving as chairman for LIMRA International and as a board member for a number of organizations including: American College; The American Council of Life Insurers' (ACLI), Corporate Governance Committee; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Retail Payments Oversight Committee; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, New Orleans Branch. He is also a former chairman on the board of trustees of the United Way of the Greater New Orleans Area and was the chairman of the United Way 2008 campaign.
While living in New York, Mr. Suquet served as director of the Greater New York YMCA and was trustee of the Browning School. In South Florida, he played a prominent role in Miami’s civic and business affairs, including as chairman-elect of the Beacon Council, trustee of Florida International University Foundation and trustee of Baptist Hospital Foundation. He also opened “The Suquet Agency” which was among the sales and marketing leaders of The Equitable and awarded Equitable’s President's Trophy for eight consecutive years.
Mr. Suquet was born in Cuba and graduated from Fordham University (New York) with a Bachelor of Science and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Miami. He is also a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow.