BRYN MAWR, Penn., Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of The American College of Financial Services today named George Nichols III, as president and chief executive officer beginning November 1, 2018. Mr. Nichols comes to The College after a 17-year career with New York Life, most recently serving as executive vice president in charge of the Office of Governmental Affairs, which encompasses all state, federal and international legislative, regulatory and public policy issues at the company.
Mr. Nichols' extensive career serving the financial services profession, both in the public and private sectors, makes him uniquely qualified to lead the country's largest accredited, non-profit educator dedicated to the financial services profession.
"George is one of the nation's most highly regarded and influential leaders in our industry," said James Meehan, Chair of the Board of Trustees at The American College. "His entire career in the profession has been dedicated to advancing financial services for the benefit of society."
Mr. Nichols joined New York Life in 2001 and during his first five years held a variety of principal roles including special assistant to the chairman supporting strategic initiatives related to international marketing and regulatory policy; senior vice president in the Agency Group; and head of New York Life Direct, the company's Tampa-based direct sales unit. He joined the Office of Governmental Affairs in 2006, assumed its leadership in 2007, and was subsequently named to the company's Executive Management Committee. In 2017, Mr. Nichols also developed an executive leadership institute for the top leaders of the company.
"New York Life is an institution known for living its core values and doing business the right way, qualities I embedded into my career there and which I intend to carry into this next phase of my journey," said Mr. Nichols. "The commitment of The College to fostering the industry's highest ideals of professionalism, trust and service is one that I am honored to continue. I welcome the opportunity to share my leadership, values and dedication for the benefit of future generations of financial professionals, to help them fulfill their calling and further their pursuit of lifelong learning."
For nearly 90 years, The College has had a strong working relationship with New York Life, educating more than 7,500 of its leaders, agents and employees through graduate degrees and prestigious designations such as the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), as well as providing educational preparation for the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) exam.
"In welcoming George to The College, we look forward to his leadership and expertise as we continue on a path of success in leading financial services education," said Meehan. "We have a shared vision to help professionals and companies reach their full potential through relevant learning opportunities that raise expectations and standards, build sustainable advantages for our clients, and influence the industry and the general public for the common good."
Prior to joining New York Life, Mr. Nichols was the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Insurance, where he regulated the state's $10 billion insurance industry and was recognized for his expertise in health insurance reform and financial services integration. Before that, he was the executive director of the Kentucky Health Policy Board, vice president of marketing for Athena of North America, executive director of product development of Southeastern Group, Inc. (dba Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kentucky), executive officer of Central State Hospital in Louisville, and executive assistant to the commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Mental Health/Mental Retardation Services.
He was Kentucky's first African-American insurance commissioner (1995), the first African-American president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (1999), and the first African-American elected to New York Life's Executive Management Committee (2006).
Mr. Nichols has been named twice to the list of "Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America," (2018 and 2012) by Savoy, the leading African-American business and lifestyle magazine.
Mr. Nichols received an M.A. degree from the University of Louisville, a B.A. degree from Western Kentucky University, and an A.A. degree from Alice Lloyd College. He and his wife, Cynthia Jean, have three adult children: Courtney, Jessica and George IV.
Todd M. Schoon, JD, CLU®, ChFC®, a past chair of the board of trustees who was appointed interim president of The College on May 1, 2018, will continue to serve in his current role through the end of October.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and is the nation's largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has educated one in five financial advisors across the United States and offers two master's degrees in management and financial services and prestigious financial planning designations such as the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Wealth Management Certified Professional®(WMCP®) and education leading to the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification. The College's faculty represents some of the foremost thought leaders of the financial services profession. For more information, visit TheAmericanCollege.edu.