Bestow Expands its Executive Team

With the four new additions to its C-suite, VP, and legal teams, Bestow hopes to continue working toward transforming life insurance, CEO and Co-founder Melbourne O'Banion says.

Bestow CEO and Co-founder Melbourne O'Banion [Image: Courtesy Fort Lion Studio]

Digital life insurance company Bestow announced a number of executive additions to its C-suite, VP, and legal teams on Dec. 4.

Bestow’s mission is to make getting life insurance easier by letting customers apply for it online, receive a quote in minutes, and buy an inexpensive life insurance plan.

“We are thrilled to introduce a talented and dynamic group of executives who will help drive our company forward to transform life insurance,” said Melbourne O’Banion, Co-founder and CEO of Bestow, in a statement. “We are proud of the deep experience and passion represented on this team whose collective expertise will enable us to grow our customer base, scale further and introduce a broader set of unique and attractive products to market.”

READ NEXT Meet the Innovators: How Melbourne O’Banion and Bestow Are ‘Bringing Technology to an Antiquated Industry’

Jackie Morales was named chief insurance officer, joining Bestow after serving as chief operating officer of Legal & General America. Morales has more than 20 years of life insurance executive experience and has focused on advancements in digital innovation, systems hardware, and software design, emphasizing data analytics and customer experience, according to a statement.

Tannen Campbell was named chief marketing officer, bringing 20 years of advertising and marketing experience to Bestow. Campbell previously held senior brand marketing roles at Expedia and augmented reality company Magic Leap.

Chris Laia was named General Counsel. He has more than 25 years of experience serving in executive capacities within the financial services industry. Laia previously served as the Deputy General Counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer for USAA, a family of companies that provides insurance, banking, investments, and retirement products and advice to current and former members of the U.S. military and their families.

Brian Romanko was named vice president, Engineering, with a background including leading engineering teams for Cisco’s Duo Security, a cybersecurity company, and serving as chief technology officer for Earnest, a leading financial technology company, where he spearheaded creating a product platform supporting billions of dollars of loans.

“Our diverse team has been a primary contributor toward the success and creation of Bestow’s full stack platform. The combination of functional expertise and creativity has led to a series of firsts over the last year,” Jonathan Abelmann, Co-founder and president of Bestow, said in a statement. “We see Bestow customers purchase policies in five minutes, mostly on smartphones, and referring friends and family. We’re enabling life insurance as a service through world-class consumer tech and financial partners. 2020 will be a very exciting year.”

The new hires join O’Banion and Abelmann as well as Bestow’s more than 70 employees across its Dallas and Austin headquarters. The company takes a technology-heavy approach to life insurance using artificial intelligence and a full-stack platform to instantly underwrite policies. Bestow has raised more than $40 million from an investor group including Valar Ventures, NEA, 8VC, Core, and Morpheus.

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