Nationwide : Everything you need to know

Corporate headquarters: One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, Ohio 43215-2220, USA

Year established: 1925

Total sales and premiums: $52.9 billion (2021)

Net operating income: $2.8 billion (2021)

Total adjusted capital: $21.9 billion (2021)

Number of employees: 26,000+

Number of affiliate companies: 90+

Financial strength rating: A+ (A.M. Best), A1 (Moody’s), A+ (Standard & Poor’s)

Underwriting expertise: Property & casualty, commercial, life insurance

Key people: Kirt Walker (CEO), Mark Berven (president and chief operating officer, Nationwide Property & Casualty), John L. Carter (president and chief operating officer, Nationwide Financial), Vinita Clements (chief human resources officer), James Fowler (EVP and chief technology officer), Tim Frommeyer (EVP and chief financial officer), Mark Howard (EVP, chief legal officer), Ramon Jones (EVP, chief marketing officer), Michael Mahaffey (EVP, chief strategy and corporate development officer​), Amy Shore (EVP and chief customer officer)

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is a Fortune 100 firm that provides a full range of insurance and financial services products across the US. Its insurance portfolio includes car, motorcycle, homeowners, pet, farm, life, and commercial policies. The company also offers annuities, mutual funds, retirement, plans and specialty health services.

 

Brief history

Nationwide was established nearly 100 years ago when the Ohio Farm Bureau decided to set up its own insurance company to offer farmers in the state auto insurance rates that reflected their driving habits. At that time, farmers paid the same rates as city drivers even though they figured in fewer accidents and had fewer claims. In 1926, then called Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance, the company obtained a license to operate in Ohio, starting a business with more than 1,000 policyholders. The insurer wrote policies only for Ohio farmers who were members of the Ohio Farm Bureau.

In 1928, the company expanded to several states, including West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Vermont, and North Carolina. In 1934, Farm Bureau Mutual began offering fire insurance, which grew the following year with the acquisition of a struggling fire insurance provider. The company also acquired Life Insurance Company of America in 1935, marking its entry into the life insurance market. By 1943, Farm Bureau Mutual operated in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The company changed its name to Nationwide Insurance in 1955 and by 1965, has expanded its presence to 32 states. In 1978, Nationwide completed the construction of its One Nationwide Plaza headquarters in Columbus, Ohio – the largest single office building in the city. The years that followed were marked by strategic acquisitions and business expansion. In 1997, its financial services arm, Nationwide Financial (NFS), began openly trading as a public company.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nationwide went to great lengths to help struggling customers by suspending policy cancellations, waiving late fees, and deferring payment deadlines. In 2021, even as the impacts of the pandemic began to subside, the company announced plans to keep many of its employees working from home permanently, shrinking from 20 physical offices pre-pandemic to just four.

 

Leadership

Kirt Walker – CEO

Walker was elected to his position in 2019. He also serves as a member of the board of directors. Prior to this, he served as president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Financial for 10 years.

Walker joined Nationwide in 1986. During his first 23 years, he served in various leadership positions within the company’s property and casualty business, including as president and COO of Nationwide Insurance and president of Allied Insurance, Nationwide’s former independent agency subsidiary.

His leadership philosophy focuses on “The Four Ps” – people, planning, performance, and partnerships. This philosophy, according to Nationwide, extends to driving an engaged, caring culture of associates that leads to better solutions for customers and other stakeholders.

 

Culture

Nationwide’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion reflects how the company operates. A standard requirement for doing business with the insurance giant is a “commitment to creating opportunities that promote supplier diversity.” This resulted in more than $40 million in Tier 2 diversity spending in 2021.

Every year, thousands of its employees also participate in associate resource groups and business unit councils to foster inclusion and improve business results. In 2021, the company hosted events to celebrate its employees’ heritage, educate them about diverse experiences and demonstrate how we can be better allies. A new campaign allowed associates to generate a matching gift from the Nationwide Foundation to select non-profit partners focused on social equality and economic empowerment.

Nationwide is also making change through strategic sponsorships, which include:

  • Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit – where it has been the host sponsor for 10 years
  • Ohio Black Farming Conference – the second annual conference held at Central State University
  • Hispanic Heritage Awards – exclusive broadcast sponsor since 2018
  • Columbus Festival Latino – sponsors the annual event organized by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts since 2017
  • Classic for Columbus – presenting sponsor of the 2021 multicultural festival and football game, which showcased Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and featured rival schools Central State University and Kentucky State University

Nationwide at a glance – 2021

  • Named Fortune 100 “Best Companies to Work For”
  • Recognized by Human Rights Campaign as among the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality”
  • Awarded by Fortune as among the “Best Workplaces for Women”
  • Reduced carbon footprint by 37.8% per square foot
  • Reduced water usage by 2.2 million gallons
  • Increased landfill diversion by 50.1%
  • Reduced waste by 919 tons
  • Invested $375 million in green bonds, which support activities to promote climate risk mitigation or adaptation, or other environmental sustainability purposes
  • Invested $173 million in renewable energy.

Nationwide : In the news