Global Atlantic Financial Group Unites Annuity and Life Distribution within Individual Markets Business Unit; Appoints Jason Bickler as Chief Distribution Officer


Single distribution group will deliver holistic strategies for income, accumulation, protection and legacy objectives

November 19, 2020 - New York, NY — Global Atlantic Financial Group (“Global Atlantic”), a leading annuity and life insurance company, has announced the merging of its annuity and life insurance sales and distribution teams into a single distribution organization within its Individual Markets business. The move will provide distribution partners with a streamlined relationship delivering holistic strategies for income, accumulation, protection and legacy objectives while positioning the company for continued growth. 

The distribution realignment comes alongside a new leadership structure for the Individual Markets business. Dave Wilken and Paula Nelson, former presidents of the company’s life and annuity businesses, respectively will serve as Co-Heads of Individual Markets, both continuing to report to Rob Arena, President of Global Atlantic. Wilken will focus on the day-to-day operations of the business, and Nelson will engage with firms and industry associations to strengthen partnerships while identifying new opportunities for the business.

Jason Bickler will assume the newly created role of Chief Distribution Officer, reporting to Wilken. He will lead a unified team designed to simplify and enhance the firm’s relationship and sales experience for financial professionals by providing a common experience through single points of contact. Bickler has led the company’s annuity distribution to record growth and a top five ranking in fixed rate and fixed index annuity sales, according to LIMRA, as of June 30, 2020.  

“More and more, financial professionals are seeing clients with multiple and often complex objectives,” said Bickler. “Oftentimes a combination of annuity and insurance solutions are considered and we’re ready to help these financial professionals deliver holistic solutions through a single relationship and consistent experience. We also expect this experience to continue to drive growth for Global Atlantic and our partners.”

Global Atlantic’s new distribution model will also streamline relationships with partners at the firm level, providing consolidated access across the entire Individual Markets portfolio. 

“We can now onboard and serve our partners from a unified platform with a more efficient and effective relationship,” Bickler added. 

The following current executives assume new roles and will report to Bickler:

  • Sam Barnett, Head of Sales, will lead the combined annuity and life wholesale team
  • Dave Schalleur, Head of Partnerships, will focus on enhancing and deepening distribution partnerships and expanding into the independent channel
  • Andrew Resnik, Head of Sales Development, will oversee training, analytics and practice development

“We’re excited to continue driving our growth objectives from the strength of this unified platform. As a single annuity and traditional life distribution organization, we will be better positioned to drive growth by concentrating on deepening our distribution relationships, simplifying the sales communication process for our distribution partners, and addressing the range of complex financial protection objectives of our end clients,” said Wilken. 

Global Atlantic’s preneed life insurance, a specialized product marketed through independent agents and funeral homes, will retain its own sales force under the continued leadership of Kelly Milberger, Head of Preneed National Sales. 

About Global Atlantic
Global Atlantic Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, offers a broad range of retirement, life and reinsurance products designed to help our customers address financial challenges with confidence. A variety of options help Americans customize a strategy to fulfill their protection, accumulation, income, wealth transfer and end-of-life needs.
Global Atlantic was founded at Goldman Sachs in 2004 and separated as an independent company in 2013. Its success is driven by a unique heritage that combines deep product and distribution knowledge with leading investment and risk management, alongside a strong financial foundation.

In July 2020, Global Atlantic agreed to be acquired by a subsidiary of KKR & Co. Inc. The transaction, which is expected to close in early 2021, is subject to required regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions.


Variable annuities are sold by prospectus. The prospectus contains investment objectives, risks, fees, charges, expenses, and other information regarding the variable annuity contract and the underlying investments, which should be considered carefully before investing money. You can obtain a prospectus from your financial professional or by visiting

Annuities are issued by Forethought Life Insurance Company, 10 West Market Street, Suite 2300, Indianapolis, Indiana. Variable annuities are underwritten and distributed by Global Atlantic Distributors, LLC.

Life Insurance is issued by Accordia Life and Annuity Company, 215 10th St, Des Moines, Iowa; and Preneed life insurance and annuities are issued by Forethought Life Insurance Company, 10 West Market Street, Suite 2300, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Global Atlantic Financial Group (Global Atlantic) is the marketing name for Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited and its subsidiaries, including Forethought Life Insurance Company and Accordia Life and Annuity Company. Each subsidiary is responsible for its own financial and contractual obligations. These subsidiaries are not authorized to do business in New York.


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