Nationwide Insurance President Galen R. Barnes will retire, effective Dec. 31, after a 28-year career with the Columbus-based Fortune 500 insurance and financial services organization. Barnes retired for personal reasons, according to Nationwide CEO W.G. Jurgensen.
Barnes has served as president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Insurance since April 1999, where he led the organization to a higher level of performance and profitability. Among his many accomplishments are improved underwriting results and a lowered trade combined ratio in 2002 of 95.9 percent. He most recently led the acquisition of Prudential subsidiary THI, a non-standard auto insurer, which is scheduled for final closing in early August.
Barnes began his Nationwide career in 1975 as an assistant actuary. He rose to vice president-actuary in 1981, and two years later was elected president and chief operating officer of Colonial Insurance Company, which was then headquartered in California. He returned to Columbus in 1987 as vice president of personal and commercial insurance services for Nationwide. He was elected president and chief operating officer of Wausau Insurance Companies in 1993, and in 1996 he was elected Enterprise president.
A native of Vevay, Ind., Barnes earned a mathematics degree from Indiana University. He is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Barnes also has committed his time and energy to a number of boards including the National Urban League, Ohio Dominican University, Franklin County United Way and the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital.
Nationwide Insurance is the seventh-largest property and casualty insurance company in the United States based on premiums written. It is the fourth-largest homeowners insurer and the fifth-largest auto insurer.