Protective Life Corporation

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2021 Protective logo.png

The Protective Life Corporation is an insurance and investment firm operating as a division of the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. of Tokyo, Japan. Prior to its sale in 2014, Protective was traded on the New York Stock Exchange and appeared on the Fortune 1000. The company has numerous subsidiaries involved in the production, distribution, and administration of insurance and investment products.

Protective was founded in 1907 as the Protective Life Insurance Company by former Governor William Jelks. The corporation's headquarters offices are located in the Protective Center on the former site of the Fairmont Country Club, at 2801 U.S. Highway 280.

By 1909 the company occupied offices on the 13th floor of the Brown Marx Building. The company subsequently moved to a building just down the block at 2112 1st Avenue North. In 1928 it purchased the former Birmingham Ledger building across the avenue on the corner of 21st Street and erected the landmark 13-story Protective Life building. At the time the firm's insurance in force amounted to about $6 million.

William Rushton Jr became president of the company in 1937. When William Rushton III assumed the role of CEO in 1969, Protective Life was already a regional provider throughout large portions of the South. In an attempt to grow the company, Rushton pushed for an ambitious plan to introduce Protective Life into all 50 U.S. states. In 1976 the company moved out of its downtown headquarters to a new building in Mountain Brook's Office Park. Later the company began building a corporate campus in a 28-acre site on Highway 280. The third of three office buildings on the site was begun in 2001.

Drayton Nabers Jr took over the reigns in 1992 and supervised the acquisition of the West Coast Life Insurance Company and the Lyndon Companies of St Louis, Missouri, solidifying the corporations national reach. Today, the company is one of the nation's leading providers of life insurance. Johnny Johns took over as CEO in 2002.

In 2006 Protective Life acquired the Chase Insurance Group from JP Morgan Chase & Co. In 2007 the company, with about 2,500 employees, was ranked in the top 10 best places to work in Birmingham by the Birmingham Business Journal.

As of December 31, 2006, Protective Life had insurance in force of approximately $724.1 billion. The company pursued community development projects through its Protective Life Foundation.

Pre-2012 Protective logo
Logo used from 2012 to 2021

In 2012 the company commissioned Slaughter Group and Big Communications to update its logo and branding with a major internal and external advertising campaign.

On June 3, 2014 Protective Life announced that it would be purchased by the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. of Tokyo, Japan for $5.7 billion. Dai-ichi kept Protective's offices in Birmingham and used the acquisition as a foothold for expansion in the U.S. market. Rich Bielen was named president and COO in January 2016. Bielen was promoted to CEO in July 2017 after Johnny Johns transitioned to the Executive Chairman role.

In early 2018 Protective acquired the individual life and annuity business of the Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston, Massachusetts for $1.17 billion. In 2019 the company acquired the life and annuity assets of the Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. of Greenwood Village, Colorado for $1.2 billion. In 2020 Protective announced that it was acquiring Revolos of Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2021 Protective spun off the Concourse Financial Group which combines several financial planning capabilities into one service, headed by Doyle Williams. The Protective Life Corporation is the naming sponsor for Protective Stadium at the BJCC.

In 2024 the company acquired the ShelterPoint Group Inc. of Garden City, New York.


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