In a significant step forward in planned efforts to develop and install the next generation of strong executive leadership at Federated Insurance, Chairman and CEO Jeff Fetters has announced that Michael G. Kerr has been appointed the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Nicholas R. Lower its Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. These leadership changes will be effective January 1, 2021, at which time Fetters will voluntarily relinquish his role as CEO while retaining his duties and responsibilities as Chairman of the Federated Mutual Insurance Companies.
Fetters’ duties will include active management of the business of the company and working with the CEO and Board to develop long-term strategy and vision for the company. He will also continue overseeing Federated’s Investment and Legal Departments, and remain a steadfast proponent of Federated’s four cornerstones and core principles and values.
Additionally, Fetters and his wife Marty will continue their active support of the Owatonna community and remain Co-Chairs of the Federated Challenge® for Big Brothers Big Sisters®.
“As President and CEO, Mike Kerr will continue to champion Federated’s culture and core principles and values,” Fetters said. “He is uniquely qualified to guide our organization forward, having achieved great success in every leadership role he’s been assigned throughout the company during his 39-year career. Mike is blessed with a natural ability to move hearts and inspire those around him to reach their highest potential. He cares deeply for the well-being of Federated clients, employees, and his community.”
Kerr hails from northern Michigan and is a Central Michigan University graduate. Following successful tenures as a Marketing Representative, District Marketing Manager, and Regional Marketing Manager in Michigan and Indiana, Kerr and his wife Joanne relocated their family to Owatonna, Minnesota, where he has served in various leadership roles in Federated’s Home Office. He has been Director of Marketing, Director of Association Risk Management Services, and overseen Home Office Marketing, Property & Casualty Claims and Underwriting, Field Services, Life Operations, Learning Center, Advertising, Human Resources, Property & Casualty Services, and Office and Physical Services. He has also chaired Federated’s Operations Team, Commercial Health Team, and Commercial Lines Team. As President and CEO, Kerr will oversee Federated’s Property and Casualty and Life Insurance Operations, as well as its Actuarial, Information Services, and Human Resources Departments.
“Nick Lower will bring tremendous passion for Federated and client success to his role as COO,” Fetters said. “He is a driven individual who sets a high bar for himself and all those around him. He tackles challenges head on, with a directness and sense of urgency that has earned the respect of his colleagues here at Federated. He is a tremendous coach and mentor, who models integrity, dedication, and a tireless work ethic.”
Following graduation from Muskingum University, Lower joined Federated Insurance in 1999 as a Marketing Representative in Ohio. Over the years, he has taken on several leadership roles in the company’s Marketing function, culminating in being named Director of Marketing in 2017. He has also overseen Federated’s Association Risk Management Services Department, as well as its Marketing Administration and Incentives areas. In recent years, Lower has served as Chair of Federated’s Operations Team, which helps oversee the company’s overall financial results.
“It is with tremendous pride and complete confidence that we announce these important leadership changes,” Fetters said. “Mike Kerr and Nick Lower are proven leaders who breathe life into our organization’s mission each and every day. We have been tremendously fortunate to benefit from their contributions over the years and look forward to the future they will help shape for our company and clients.”
Founded in 1904, Federated Insurance is a national insurance and risk management organization that serves the property, casualty, and life insurance needs of clients in select industries. The organization has more than 500 recommendations from state, regional, and national associations and buying groups and is rated A+ (Superior) by industry analyst A.M. Best® Company.