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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) honored Paula Nelson, Global Atlantic Financial Group’s Managing Director & Head of Strategic Growth, as its Industry Champion of Retirement Security at the group’s annual meeting today. Nelson also serves on the IRI Board of Directors and as Treasurer/Secretary of IRI’s Executive Committee.

IRI’s Industry Champion of Retirement Security Award recognizes individuals who work to enhance retirement security in the United States. The award is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated leadership to advance IRI-supported public policies through advocacy, communications, education, and other initiatives that help Americans plan for and save for their retirement years.

IRI created the Champion of Retirement Security Award in 2013 to recognize policymakers who have contributed significantly to advancing ideas and policies that enhance retirement security for all Americans. IRI expanded the program to recognize private sector individuals who have made valuable contributions toward expanding retirement security.

“Paula is among the most accomplished leaders within the insured retirement industry, a tremendous supporter of IRI, a powerful advocate for industry priorities, and committed to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion across the industry,” said Wayne Chopus, IRI President and CEO. “She absolutely personifies the notion of a true industry champion of retirement security.”

“Paula was the clear choice for this important recognition this year. Her tireless dedication to our industry and her commitment to our shared IRI mission – ensuring that more and more Americans can achieve the retirement they want and deserve – have truly moved the needle for everyday Americans looking to retire,” said John Kennedy, IRI’s Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of Lincoln Financial Distributors. “It’s been an honor working alongside her for the past few years on the IRI Board of Directors, and I look forward to what’s ahead in our continued work on advancement, advocacy, and awareness.”

In her current role, Nelson is focused on strategic growth and new market opportunities for Global Atlantic’s Individual Markets business. She is a strong advocate for digital modernization adoption and remains active in legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry. Nelson joined Global Atlantic in 2010 to lead the organization’s annuity distribution organization. She later served as Co-President of Individual Markets for Global Atlantic before assuming her current position in 2021. Nelson has more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before working at Global Atlantic, Nelson served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Transamerica Capital, Inc., a leading wholesale broker/dealer.

“I am a staunch supporter of IRI’s mission to champion retirement security for all Americans and am truly honored to be the recipient of this award,” Nelson said. “My passion for advocating insured retirement strategies and solutions for retirees is shared by my colleagues and industry peers at IRI, and while this personal recognition is very much appreciated, I’d like to recognize all those supporting IRI’s efforts to drive the industry forward and make a secure retirement a reality for millions of Americans.”

“This industry serves a vital need in helping workers and retirees to achieve a financially secure retirement,” Chopus said. “Each of us should feel pride in this shared mission, and we should celebrate leaders like Paula who further elevate our industry’s purpose and accomplishments.”

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Contact: Dan Zielinski

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