A Chicago-based financial-services attorney has been named as a "rising star" and among the most innovative in the industry.
Kevin Mechtley of the Sammons Financial Group was named among 25 Rising Stars of Innovation under 40 by LIMRA, a global research, consulting and professional development organization. LIMRA searched nationwide for those the organization thought were the most innovative within their companies and fields.
Mechtley said the best part about being recognized is that LIMRA has spotlighted those committed to innovation.
"There is no more relevant word than innovation in our industry right now, so I’m very excited to be recognized alongside a fantastic list of insurance innovators committed to improving and evolving our business," Mechtley told Illinois Business Daily.
Mechtley's core expertise lies in fixed and indexed annuities, life insurance and associated legal, regulatory and compliance challenges. His responsibilities at the company include coordinating government relations at the state and federal level.
Mechtley said the honor meant a great deal to him, particularly as he believes LIMRA does "incredible work."
"It is an organization I have both worked with and admired for several years," he said. "To be recognized by LIMRA and my fellow peers is a great honor – one that I do not take lightly."
On innovation, the financial-services regulatory attorney said there are many ways to innovate, including through technology and data analytics and more general "outside-the-box thinking."
"I tend to fall into the latter category," Mechtley said. "Over the last year, I have worked on building out our Department of Labor fiduciary rule strategy and infrastructure."
The fiduciary rule, which is expected to be fully implemented Jan. 1, essentially raises the standard for brokers to that of registered investment advisers.
On his work-life philosophy, Mechtley said, "I have found when you challenge yourself and others to find new paths forward, you can ultimately discover ideas that fit your business far better than the prevailing philosophy."
Admitted to the bar in Kansas, Mechtley has degrees in political science from the University of Kansas and law from Washburn University School of Law. He has more than 12 years of lobbying and legal experience.
The winners were honored at a reception during LIMRA’s Annual Conference, which was held in late October in National Harbor, Maryland.