The Standard Announces Retirement of J. Greg Ness as CEO; Dan McMillan Named New CEO

Ness to Serve as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors After Distinguished Career

PORTLAND, Ore. — The board of directors of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and primary operating subsidiary Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) announced today that Dan McMillan, president and chief operating officer, will become president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors effective July 1, 2021. J. Greg Ness, chairman and chief executive officer, who announced his decision to retire as CEO, will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board.

“Dan brings a wealth of talent and steady, strong leadership to his newest role as StanCorp’s chief executive officer,” said Greg Ness, board chairman. “Dan has a keen understanding of the factors that ensure our continued success and growth going forward. His more than 32 years at The Standard, deep knowledge of our culture and unique employee and customer orientation, as well as his commitment to the community, position him well to lead the company to even greater accomplishments. I look forward to his success.”

Ness joined The Standard in 1979 when the company had just over 400 employees. He was appointed president and COO in September 2008 and then president and CEO in May 2009. He became chairman of the board in December 2011. Ness led The Standard through more than a decade of challenge, change and growth, including two economic recessions, transitioning to a private company as part of the international Meiji Yasuda Group and navigating a global pandemic. Total revenue during his leadership rose more than 40 percent from $2.67 billion to $3.75 billion at the end 2020, and his tenure as CEO ends with a national workforce of more than 3,100 employees.

McMillan, who joined The Standard in 1989, was appointed president and chief operating officer in December 2020. He has held a succession of leadership positions with increasing responsibilities, as well as spearheading large-scale business, technology and efficiency initiatives for the Insurance Services Group. Previously, McMillan served as executive vice president and before that was vice president of the Insurance Services Group.

“I’m honored by the confidence the board has placed in me and excited to lead this great company,” said Dan McMillan, president and chief operating officer. “I look forward to building on the incredible momentum established by Greg during his tenure.”

In his 42-year career at The Standard, Ness held a succession of leadership positions including senior vice president of the Insurance Services Group, senior vice president of the Employee Benefits Division, senior vice president of Investments, president of StanCorp Mortgage Investors and StanCorp Investment Advisers, vice president and corporate secretary, and vice president of Retirement Plans Sales and Marketing.

Ness was deeply involved in various civic and nonprofit organizations. He has served as the president of The Standard Charitable Foundation since 2009, chairs the board of directors of the Oregon Business Council and the Armory Theater Fund and is a member of the board of directors of the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation. Ness is also a member of the SOLVE Founder’s Circle and a former board member of both Portland Center Stage and Trillium Family Services.

While CEO, Ness received numerous awards and accolades including the William S. Naito Outstanding Service Award from the Portland Business Alliance, the Simon Benson Award for Alumni Achievement from Portland State University and the John C. Hampton Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Arts.

“Greg has been a strong and effective leader for The Standard, and we are pleased that we will continue to have the benefit of his leadership as board chair,” said Duane McDougall, lead director of StanCorp. “His focus and strategic decisions have had a profound positive impact on the growth of the company, and he has nurtured a culture of caring and community involvement. Greg often said he intended to leave the company better than he found it. Over more than four decades of service, he has certainly accomplished that. The board of directors thanks Greg for his remarkable stewardship of the organization and our communities.”

McMillan serves on the Group Insurance Executive Council of the American Council of Life Insurers. He previously served on the board of directors of the Council for Disability Awareness, Portland Children's Museum, Lines for Life and the Portland Business Alliance.

McMillan earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in mathematics from Linfield College. He also holds an Associate Life & Health Claims designation from the International Claim Association.

About StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., and The Standard

StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., marketed as The Standard through its subsidiaries — Standard Insurance Company, The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York, Standard Retirement Services, StanCorp Mortgage Investors, StanCorp Investment Advisers, StanCorp Real Estate and StanCorp Equities — is a leading provider of financial products and services for employers and individuals.

The Standard offers a range of products and services including group and individual disability insurance, group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, group dental and group vision insurance, voluntary (employee-paid) benefits, absence management services, retirement plans products and services, individual annuities, origination and servicing of fixed-rate commercial mortgage loans and investment advice.

 

Contact: 

Bob Speltz, Senior Director, Community Relations
971.321.3162
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