MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 9, 2019 – Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®) has announced that Tom Burns, chief distribution officer, will retire from the company, effective on April 15, 2019. Succeeding Burns is Eric Thomes, currently head offield marketing organization (FMO) distribution for the company.
Since starting at Allianz Life in 2006, Burns has led the company’s distribution strategies and helped build and grow strong relationships in the FMO, broker-dealer, bank, and brokerage general agent channels. Under his guidance, Allianz Life has become a leader in the fixed index annuity market. He was also instrumental in helping the company expand into the index variable annuity and index universal life markets.
“With a distinguished career spanning forty years, including the past twelve at Allianz Life, Tom’s experience and commitment have been incredibly valuable to the company as a whole, and to each individual who works with him on a day-to-day basis,” said Walter White, president and CEO, Allianz Life. “Tom has been a true leader, and I’m very grateful for his success in growing our business and navigating sweeping industry changes.”
Thomes brings extensive experience to his new role after 23 years at Allianz Life. During that time, he has held various leadership roles with increasing responsibility, including regional vice president of the Southeast region, SVP of long term care insurance sales, SVP of strategic accounts, and his current role as SVP of FMO distribution.
“Eric brings outstanding experience and deep industry knowledge to his new role,” said White. “He has played a pivotal role in strengthening our position as an industry leader and has provided unwavering leadership to FMO distribution through challenging times.”
Thomes earned his BA in business management at St. John’s University (Minnesota). He currently serves on the board of directors of the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute and the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota-North Dakota, and he chairs the Allianz Life Field Advisory Board. Thomes holds a State of Minnesota Life, Accident & Health Insurance license, and FINRA Series 6, 7, 24 and 26 registrations.