Pan-American Life Insurance Company Celebrates 100th Anniversary - A Century of Promises Kept

Mar 10, 2011, 09:00 ET from Pan-American Life Insurance Company

NEW ORLEANS, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pan-American Life Insurance Company will celebrate its 100th Anniversary this March 28.  The leading provider of insurance and financial services attributes this significant milestone to the loyalty and trust of valued policyholders, employees and agents, deeming it a reflection of the unwavering strength, commitment and service in the United States, across Latina America and the Caribbean.

Pan-American Life was founded on a dual-heritage rooted in New Orleans, the company's headquarters since 1911, and extending throughout the Americas.  In 2011, the yearlong anniversary celebration – A Century of Promises Kept – will be a tribute to all who have contributed to the success of Pan-American Life.

In celebration of its rich history, the Group will host commemorative events in New Orleans, Louisiana, alongside city officials, business leaders, employees and partners who have been longstanding supporters on the path of success. Festivities include a ceremonial employee and retiree event on March 23 at the InterContinental Hotel; and an anniversary gala on April 10 at the Roosevelt Hotel featuring a tribute from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. At the gala, Pan-American Life will host a number of honored guests including 380 international delegates.

Among the memorial unveilings at the events are the opening of a corporate time capsule from 1952, a commemorative anniversary coffee table book, a Centennial video, a dedicated 100th Anniversary website, and a one-of-a-kind compilation of corporate keepsakes and photographs from the last 100 years.

"As we reflect on Pan-American Life's heritage, we celebrate 10 decades of milestones, achievements and both individual and collaborative contributions and recognize that this legacy of success would not be possible without our most valuable asset, the employees, partners and policyholders who drive and inspire our accomplishments," said Jose S. Suquet, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Pan-American Life Insurance Group.

Pan-American Life began their 365 day countdown last spring, marking the kick-off to the official planning for the 100th Anniversary. Among the activities that began paving the way to the Centennial Celebration was the creation of the Anniversary theme:  A Century of Promises Kept and the development of the official Anniversary logo.

Concurrently, pre-centennial employee activities that have been drumming up the anniversary spirit include a Pan-American Life history contest, recognitions for employees with 30+ years of service to the company and Centennial gifts for all employees.

Mr. Suquet added: "The dawn of our second century is filled with the promise of new opportunities. It will be up to us to rise to the challenge and make the most of them."

For more information, please visit the Pan-American Life Centennial Website at

100 Years of Heritage

The Pan-American Life Insurance Group is a leading provider of insurance and financial services serving nearly half a million customers throughout the Americas. New Orleans-based Pan-American Life Insurance Company, the Group's flagship member, has been delivering trusted financial services since 1911, employing more than 800 worldwide, providing top-rated life and health insurance, worksite benefits and financial services in 47 states, the District of Columbia (DC) and Puerto Rico. The Group's member companies offer individual and/or group life and health insurance throughout Latin America. The Group has branches and affiliates in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands.

In 2011 Pan-American Life Insurance commemorates A Century of Promises Kept and pays homage to its heritage which humbly originated at sea during the transportation of produce to the United States from Central and South America. It was there that Crawford H. Ellis, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, got to know the people and cultures of those countries -- and there that he realized the need for insurance protection for both the workers and merchants of those goods.

Mr. Ellis began his career as a bookkeeper with the United Fruit Company in New Orleans and, by the age of 26, he was responsible for more than 25 ships that brought fruit into that city's port.  In 1911, Mr. Ellis joined forces with Dr. Edward G. Simmons, an expert in life insurance; Dr. Marion Souchon, a renowned surgeon and physician; and Eugene J. McGivney, a corporate lawyer, to create a life insurance company that served the needs of Central and South America, as well as the United States.

Based in New Orleans, the busiest port in the United States at the time, Mr. Ellis suggested a name for the company that would reflect its dual heritage --The Pan-American Life Insurance Company.  In March 1912, Pan-American Life issued its first life insurance policy and was on its way to becoming an "All-of-the-Americas" company.

Today, Pan-American Life Insurance Group is a strong, established company with more than $2.2 billion in total assets and $521 million in GAAP equity*. With the direction of the Group's Chairman, President and CEO, Jose S. Suquet, who in 2004 became the first Hispanic to lead the company, Pan-American Life has been restructured to refocus on its core business in Latin America and the U.S Hispanic market.

With a high ratio of surplus-to-assets, conservative asset portfolio, and liquidity and diversification of assets, the company provides its policyholders with the type of strong financial security not available through many other carriers.  In 2010 the company's performance was validated midyear, when ratings agency A.M. Best upgraded the financial strength rating to A(Excellent) from A-(Excellent).

From inception, the company's experience, profound knowledge and continued dedication have propelled Pan-American Life to close the gap between the United States and Latin America, much like a life bridge.

SOURCE Pan-American Life Insurance Company