Board of Directors

Board of Directors

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    John M. Matovina

    Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
    John M. Matovina is Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company. He was Chief Executive Officer from June 2012 until March 1, 2020 and President from June 2012 until January 27, 2020. Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer and President, he was Chief Financial Officer since January 1, 2009, and was Vice Chairman until April, 2017, at which time he became Chairman. 

    Prior to being appointed vice chairman, Mr. Matovina was a financial consultant to us from 1997 to 2003. From November 1983 through November 1996, he was a senior financial officer of The Statesman Group and many of its subsidiaries, and, prior to Statesman’s acquisition in September 1994, he served as Statesman’s Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary.

    Mr. Matovina received his B.S. from Indiana University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting and insurance industries.
  • Anant Bhalla

    Anant Bhalla

    Chief Executive Officer & President, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company

    Anant Bhalla is Chief Executive Officer and President of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer on March 1, 2020 and appointed President on January 27, 2020. Prior to be being appointed President, he was a partner of Bhalla Capital Partners, focused on bringing together private capital and asset management capabilities in the global life insurance sector.

    From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Bhalla served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Brighthouse Financial, Inc., the publicly traded spin-off of MetLife’s U.S. individual life and annuity business. He joined MetLife in 2014 as its Chief Financial Officer of Retail business. Prior to MetLife, Mr. Bhalla served in numerous senior roles including Chief Risk Officer, Treasurer and other management roles at Fortune 500 companies, including American International Group, Lincoln National Corporation, and Ameriprise Financial.  

    Mr. Bhalla received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Madras University, India and an MBA from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, India.

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    Joyce A. Chapman

    Retired Executive, West Bank

    Joyce A. Chapman was elected to the board of directors in September, 2008. Ms. Chapman is a retired banker who spent over 35 years with West Bank, West Des Moines, Iowa. While at West Bank, she served in numerous roles covering virtually every aspect of bank administration and operation.

    Ms. Chapman is a well-known community figure, having served in numerous positions of leadership in philanthropic and banking industry organizations.

    Independent Director
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    Brenda J. Cushing

    Retired Executive, Athene Holding

    Brenda J. Cushing was elected to the board of directors in March, 2017. Ms. Cushing retired in August, 2015 from Athene Holding where she served as executive finance president and chief financial officer. Ms. Cushing began her Athene career in 1993 as general accounting manager at AmerUs Life Insurance Company, and joined AmerUs Bank in 1994 as finance vice president, and later, as the bank's CFO until its sale in 1998.

    Ms. Cushing has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Iowa State University and serves on the Dean's Advisory Council for the ISU College of Business.

    She also serves on the boards of the United Way of Central Iowa, Mercy Medical Center and is a community board member for Bankers Trust (Des Moines) and is a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs.

    Independent Director
  • James Gerlach

    James M. Gerlach

    Retired Executive, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
    James M. Gerlach served as executive vice president of American Equity from 1997 until his retirement and as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of American Equity Life since 1996. Prior to joining American Equity, Mr. Gerlach served as executive vice president and secretary of American Life and Casualty and as executive vice president and treasurer of Vulcan Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of American Life and Casualty. He has been active in the insurance industry for over 35 years.
    Independent Director
  • Robert  Howe

    Robert L. Howe

    Retired Deputy Commissioner and Chief Examiner, State of Iowa

    Robert L. Howe has been a director of the Company since 2005. He served in the State of Iowa Insurance Division from 1964 to 2002 in various capacities. He was named Deputy Commissioner and Chief Examiner in 1985 and served in this position until his retirement in 2002. During this time, Mr. Howe was responsible for the financial oversight of 220 domestic insurance companies. Since his retirement, he has been an independent consultant. Since 2007, Mr. Howe has served on the board of EMC Insurance Group and serves on the Audit, Inter-Company, Corporate Governance and Nominating Committees.

    Howe is a graduate of Drake University with a B.S. degree in Actuarial Science and did graduate work in human relations at St. John’s University. Howe is a Certified Financial Examiner, Certified Insurance Examiner, Certified Government Financial Manager and Accredited Insurance Receiver.

    Independent Director
    Lead Director
  • Keeley

    Michelle M. Keeley

    Retired Executive, RiverSource Investments, LLC

    Michelle M. Keeley was elected to the board of directors in June, 2020.  Ms. Keeley is a retired Executive Vice President of equities and fixed income investments for RiverSource Investments, LLC, the asset management division of Ameriprise Financial Services.  Ms. Keeley worked for American Express and its publicly traded spinoff, Ameriprise Financial Services, from 2002 to 2010.  Prior to joining American Express, Ms. Keeley was a managing director with Zurich Global Assets from 1990 to 2002.  

    In November 2014, Ms. Keeley was elected to serve as an independent director on the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.  Currently, she serves as chair of the human resources and compensation committee and a member of the finance and planning and executive committees for the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines.  In 2015, Ms. Keeley became a director of the Bridge Builder Mutual Fund Series, an affiliated company of Edward Jones Financial Services. Ms. Keeley serves on all committees of the board of the Bridge Builder Mutual Fund Series. 

    Independent Director
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    William R. Kunkel

    General Counsel, Archdiocese of Chicago
    William R. Kunkel is general counsel of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Previously, he served as executive vice president and general counsel of American Equity from 2012 until April, 2016. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kunkel was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP for over 25 years, where he focused his practice on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and other corporate governance and securities matters.
    Independent Director
  • Alan Matula

    Alan D. Matula

    Chief Information Officer, Weber-Stephen Products LLC

    Alan D. Matula was elected to the board of directors in December, 2015. Mr. Matula has served as the chief information officer of Weber-Stephen Products LLC, a privately owned company which manufactures charcoal, gas and electric outdoor grills and accessories, since December 2015. Mr. Matula worked for the Royal Dutch Shell plc organization for over 30 years. During that time, he served in various information technology capacities for the parent company and several of its subsidiaries including chief information officer for Royal Dutch Shell plc from 2006 to 2015.

    Mr. Matula has a B.S. degree in Quantitative Business Analytics from Indiana University and an Executive MBA from Houston Baptist College.

    Independent Director
  • David Mulcahy

    David S. Mulcahy

    Chairman of the Board, Monarch Materials Group, Inc.

    David S. Mulcahy was elected to serve on the Company's board of directors in January, 2011. Mr. Mulcahy previously served as a member of the Company's board of directors from 1996 to 2006. He currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Monarch Materials Group, Inc.

    Mr. Mulcahy is a certified public accountant who acted as a senior tax partner in the Des Moines office of Ernst & Young LLP, where he was employed from 1976 through 1994. He is a graduate of The University of Iowa.

    Independent Director
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    Gerard D. Neugent

    Co-Chariman & Chief Executive Officer

    Gerard D. Neugent was elected to the board of directors in June, 2010. Mr. Neugent is the Co-Chariman and Chief Executive Officer of Knapp Properties, Inc., Des Moines, IA. His primary duties include dealing with real estate transactions, development and management.

    Mr. Neugent is a graduate of Marquette University and received his J.D. from Drake University Law School.

    Independent Director
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    A.J. Strickland, III

    Professor, University of Alabama School of Business

    A. J. Strickland III has been a director of our company since 1996. Dr. Strickland is the Miller Professor of Strategic Management at The University of Alabama School of Business. He is co-author of the best-selling strategic management textbook in the world. His 18th edition published by McGraw-Hill is used in over 900 Universities worldwide.

    Dr. Strickland is a former director of The Statesman Group. He has been director of marketing at BellSouth, and is a consultant in the area of strategic analysis. In the international arena, he has done extensive work in Europe, the Middle East, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa.

    Independent Director