Monday, August 06, 2012

Jefferson Pilot and Howard "Chick" Holderness

1901: Ten prominent Greensboro citizens, including George A. Grimsley, P.H. Hanes, C.C. Taylor, J. Van Lindley, J.W. Scott and others, form a mutual life insurance company called Security Life and Annuity Company. Another group of businessmen organize Greensboro Life Insurance Co.

1903: Pilot Life founded by A.W. McAlister.

May 27, 1907: Jefferson Standard Life Insurance receives certificate of incorporation. Chief organizers are brothers, P.D. and Charles W. Gold, members of a Wilson newspaper family. P.D. Gold designs the company’s trademark, which stems from his admiration of Thomas Jefferson.

Aug. 7, 1907: Jefferson Standard opens an office in Raleigh and is proclaimed by the Raleigh News & Observer as the biggest corporation ever formed in the state. Stock worth $500,000 is sold.

1907: First policy for $5,000 is sold to Joseph G. Brown. Brown is elected the first president of the company.

1912: Security Life and Annuity, Greensboro Life Insurance Co. and Jefferson Standard merge. Jefferson directors agree to move the company headquarters to Greensboro in exchange for keeping the Jefferson Standard name. Grimsley is named president.

1919: Julian Price, a former railroad telegrapher who had worked at Greensboro Life since its inception, and who was now a company vice president becomes president.

1920: Grimsley leaves Jefferson to form Security Life and Trust, which later becomes Integon Life Insurance.

October 1923: 17-story building at Market and Elm Streets is completed. 23 carloads of marble line the corridors.

1934: Joseph M. Bryan, Julian Price’s son-in-law, convinces Price to expand into broadcasting with the purchase of Greensboro radio station WBIG.

1945: Gate City Insurance Co. merges with Pilot Life. Combined firms establish one of the largest insurance companies in the south, with the headquarters to be in the Sedgefield offices of the Pilot. Jefferson Standard purchases controlling interest in Pilot Life.

1946: Julian Price dies in an automobile accident. Under his guidance, Jefferson Standard’s assets grew from $10 million to $180 million, and insurance in force moved from $81 million to $672 million.

1946: Ogburn F. Stafford of Greensboro is elected president of Pilot Life. He began his insurance career at age 17 as an agent for Gate City Life Insurance Co, and became president of Gate City Life in 1938.

1950: Howard “Chick” Holderness becomes president of Jefferson Standard. He had worked for the company from 1925 until 1945.

1951: Surpasses $1 billion in insurance in force.

1967: Holderness retires and is succeeded by Roger Soles. Soles joined the company in 1947 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

1968: Rufus White, a Pilot Life employee since 1928, succeeds Stafford as president of Pilot Life.

1968: Jefferson Standard and Pilot Life Insurance Co. form a holding company, Jefferson-Pilot Corp.

1975: Pilot Life Insurance Co. sets sales record of $1.6 billion.

August 1982: Jefferson Standard celebrates its 75th anniversary with $6.7 billion of insurance in force.

1986: Jefferson-Pilot Corp. reaches $40 billion of life insurance sold.

Jan. 1, 1987: The two companies merge to form Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Co. with $3.8 billion in assets.

January 1987: Soles becomes president, chairman and chief executive.

1988: Construct ion begins on new 20-story twin tower.

August 1990: New building is dedicated.

1991: Soles, with $3.7 million in salary, bonus and stock grants, is North Carolina’s best paid CEO.

1992: Dissident shareholders led by Louise Price Parsons wage a proxy fight. Soles and his board of directors win the votes.

February 1993: David A. Stonecipher becomes Soles’ successor. He is the first chief executive in the company’s 85-year history who has not previously worked for the company.

November 1993: After 60 years of service, Joseph M. Bryan, 97, retires from the board of directors.

1994: JP acquires Chubb Life Insurance Co. of America, Alexander Hamilton Life, Guarantee Life Insurance Co. and Kentucky Central Life. The Chubb acquisition alone doubles JP’s share of the life insurance market.

1997: Reports sales of $2.6 billion.

1998: Employs 1,800 in the Triad, 4,300 nationwide. Common shares split 3 for 2.

1999: Acquires The Guarantee Life Companies Inc. of Omaha, Neb.

2000: Alexander Hamilton Life, Guarantee Life Insurance Company and Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Co., formerly Chubb Insurance, merge but keep the name Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of JP.

May 2003: JP Sports of Charlotte, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferson-Pilot Financial, and Charlotte-based Raycom announce partnership in the syndicated football TV business through the 2010 season and that they’ve renegotiated their existing basketball contract through the 2010-11 season to reflect the ACC’s expansion.

June 2003: Pilot Life celebrates 100th anniversary.

Dec 2003: Dennis R. Glass is named the company's new chief executive officer, replacing the retiring David A. Stonecipher, 62, who will continue as Jefferson-Pilot's Chairman of the Board.

March 1, 2004: Glass assumes office.

Oct. 10, 2005: Jefferson-Pilot, Lincoln National announce plans to merge.

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