NAFA Annuity Leadership Forum Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Kristen Soltis Anderson

Kristen Soltis Anderson is a partner and co-founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Echelon Insights, a research, analytics, and digital intelligence firm. Her research on millennial attitudes has been featured in The New York Times Magazine and she regularly speaks to audiences of corporate leaders and public officials about how to reach the millennial generation. She is the host of SiriusXM’s “The Trendline with Kristen Soltis Anderson,” airing weekly on their POTUS politics channel. She also co-hosts the bipartisan weekly podcast, “The Pollsters,” featuring Democratic pollster Margie Omero.

Back by popular demand, Kristen will examine how millennials and gen Z are changing the way businesses, organizations, and political factions market and message to engage these trendsetters.

The keynote speaker presentation is proudly sponsored by:

Economic Panelists

Alan Grissom

Alan Grissom is a managing partner and insurance consultant with 12 South Capital. Previously, he spent over a decade with S&P Dow Jones Indices as the Head of Sales, North America and Global Head of Insurance. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading and directing the commercial interests of S&P Dow Jones Indices, which included over $15 trillion of investment assets. Alan’s team was responsible for introducing and monetizing passive-based concepts such as the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, S&P 500 ESG, 500 Buffer Protect, VIX, Case Shiller Home Price Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and over one million other index methodologies to investment banks, asset managers, insurers, exchanges, hedge funds and pensions/endowments.

Alan previously established and led the Independent Distribution Channel at AIG after guiding the retirement products division to record sales and profits for over six years. He has a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama where he is a member of the Board of Visitors for the Culverhouse College of Business.

Peter Miller

Peter Miller is an Insurance Research Strategist with the Invesco Global Investment Solutions team. Prior to joining Invesco, he served as a senior vice president with PIMCO’s financial institutions group, where he focused on general account investments and risk-managed fund solutions for insurance clients. He previously spent nine years in variable annuity hedging and risk management, as well as insurance portfolio management and pension liability-driven investing, with The Hartford.

Pete earned a BS degree in actuarial science from the University of Nebraska. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA).

Pratik Pareek

Pratik Pareek is head of insurance coverage and sales within the equities business in Global Markets. He was previously head of the Financial Institutions Group Strats team in the Investment Banking Division, and was responsible for cross asset financing and derivative solutions for insurance companies and banks. Pratik joined Goldman Sachs as an associate in 2012 and was named managing director in 2019.

Prior to joining the firm, Pratik worked at Citigroup for three years as an ABS research analyst. He earned a BTech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 2008 and a master’s degree in Financial Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012.

Igor Zamkovsky

Igor Zamkovsky is Head of Indexed Annuities and Insurance within BlackRock’s Retirement Insurance Group, where he focuses on product development, index partnerships, research and platform initiatives. Prior to BlackRock, he worked in Barclays Investment Bank’s cross-asset solutions business focusing on distribution of quantitative investment strategies (QIS). He also worked with insurance companies on annuity hedging and product development. Igor began his career with Deutsche Asset Management’s hedge fund business.

Igor holds an MBA degree from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BS from Binghamton University, and is a CFA charterholder.

Roundtable Moderators

Bryce Biklen

Bryce Biklen serves as vice president and chief distribution officer for North American Company for Life and Health Insurance and Midland National Life Insurance Company. He is responsible for leading sales growth for the North American and Midland distribution channels through building and maintaining relationships with key independent marketing organization (IMO) partners and financial professionals.

Bryce has been working in annuity distribution since 1997 and previously served as vice president and national sales manager for Sammons Institutional Group’s Midland Retirement Distributors. He spent the past 18 years at SFG’s member companies in a variety of roles across multiple distribution channels. That experience includes positions as vice president of sales, director of broker dealer distribution, and director field training and sales support. In addition to SFG, Biklen has been an independent financial advisor, a regional vice president with an IMO and a regional vice president for another insurance carrier. He is a licensed investment professional certified through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and is a licensed insurance agent.

Jason Kestler

Jason Kestler serves as executive vice president, head of cross-channel distribution, for Highland Capital Brokerage. Since starting in the financial services industry in 1997, Jason has employed innovation and determination in his marketing efforts. His goal is to build the organization every day, ensuring a long and prosperous future for Highland and its representatives. Jason’s unique management style and outside-the-box thinking have been featured in magazines such as Inc., Direct Marketing, Fortune Small Business and Senior Market Sales.

Continuing with his busy lifestyle, Jason is a founding Annexus Group partner, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a founding Market Synergy Group partner, based in Topeka, Kansas. In addition, he is a two-term board member with the National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA) and formerly served as board secretary. Jason has also served on multiple insurance carrier advisory boards.