COUNTRY Financial CEO Kurt Bock plans to retire early next year, the insurance and financial services group has disclosed.

Bock’s retirement is effective Jan. 31, 2019, capping seven years as chief executive officer. The Illinois-based company noted in its retirement announcement that a search for his successor is underway.

COUNTRY Financial credits Bock with leading the company through “rapid changes focused on increasing digital capabilities, customer centricity and employee development.” The company said he helped develop its broader strategy, transition of regulatory oversight from the Federal Reserve, and also the incorporation of analytics and business intelligence into operations. As well, Bock led the mergers of Cotton States Mutual Insurance Company and MiddleOak Insurance Companies with COUNTRY Financial.

Bock, in prepared remarks, said he is “extremely proud” to have kept COUNTRY Financial focused on “the customer and on the people who take care of them” in an age of rapid technological and disruptive change for the industry.

During his tenure at COUNTRY Financial, Bock served as a member of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, testified to both the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance and the Senate Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment, and presented to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Governors of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Before becoming CEO for COUNTRY Financial, Bock served as the CEO of the IAA Credit Union from 2003 to 2005, treasurer of COUNTRY Financial and the Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) from 2005 to 2008, and chief operating officer of Horizon Hobby from 2008 until 2012. Bock served in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years, attaining the rank of colonel.

Source: COUNTRY Financial