In Memoriam: David J. Noble, Founder of American Equity
Remembering David J. Noble 1931-2017
David J. Noble was more than a businessman or entrepreneur, he was a leader, an innovator, and most importantly he was passionate about people, his country, and those who serve. He had a saying that he shared on every possible occasion to let his employees and customers know that they were valued: “It’s not about the building, the charter or the policy form … it’s about the people.” This will forever be his legacy.
Mr. Noble was a self-made man with a passion for his employees and the many people surrounding him in both the business world and personally. He valued and was committed to the policyholders and the advisors that called on them. Mr. Noble never did anything in life that was easy. He had an unrelenting desire to succeed, win and relationships mattered. He was known for his tenacious passion to do the right thing. He deeply loved his family, his American Equity work family, and his country and the men and women who served our great nation.
Over the course of his more than 60-year insurance career, Mr. Noble rose to the top of the industry twice. Initially he established himself as the chief executive officer of The Statesman Group, where he led its expansion into a full-service financial services company with 21 operating subsidiaries. Eventually, he negotiated the sale of that company and oversaw the leadership transition. After retiring for just three days, he founded American Equity in 1995.
The company’s core philosophies centered on quality customer service and product integrity. He served simultaneously as chairman, chief executive officer, president and treasurer for American Equity until January 1, 2009. Afterward, he remained chairman of the board until his death. During that time, American Equity became a top-tier provider of fixed and fixed index annuity products, employing more than 500 professionals with over half-a-million contract owners across the country. Throughout his prodigious tenure he earned a number of industry honors, including the Ernst & Young Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999 for the Iowa and Nebraska regions, and he was inducted into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2004. His life at American Equity allowed him to follow his passion for helping fellow Americans secure their financial future. His dedication allowed many individuals—from his American Equity staff to their valued, independent insurance producers and respected clients—the opportunity to attain their American dream.