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In the Community

2021 Year in Review

2021 embodied big things for Protective — things that made an impact for our company, our communities and the commitments we strive to protect. Our mission has always been in our name, and in 2021 being a protector became more than just a feeling as we unveiled our new brand, celebrated the opening of Protective Stadium and continued to navigate unprecedented challenges.

Join us in looking back at some of the moments that brought magic and excitement in 2021.

University Street Downtown Birmingham crosswalk view

Healthy aging research partnership

Protective partnered with the University of Alabama at Birmingham to advance the science of healthy aging by establishing the Protective Life Endowed Chair in healthy aging research. Steven N. Austad, Ph.D. was named the inaugural Protective Life Endowed Chair. Austad will lead a collaborative team of healthy aging researchers in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, School of Public Health, School of Health Professions and others on interdisciplinary research to better understand the aging process as it relates to morbidity and mortality, prepare our society for future demographic shifts and invest in people’s well-being.

“We are in the business of protecting people, and Protective is proud to partner with UAB to advance research that will help people live longer, healthier lives,” said Rich Bielen, Protective president and CEO


Concourse Financial Group logo

Concourse Financial Group launches

Protective launched Concourse Financial Group in the summer of 2021 by bringing together ProEquities, First Protective and Protective Distributors. The move created a unified organization of Protective’s insurance and financial planning affiliates, encompassing an RIA, broker-dealer, brokerage general agency and protection-focused, point-of-solution organization.


Protective employees having a lunch meeting looking at chart

Meeting customers where they are 

Protective has always been focused on making it as easy as possible for customers to protect their families, their livelihoods and their futures. That’s why, when the pandemic highlighted the importance of life insurance, meeting our customers’ needs remained a top priority. Launched months before COVID hit, Velocity, our suite of digital capabilities, proved to be an invaluable tool to customers and agents alike during a time with unprecedented challenges. 

“Protective finished number one in an annual survey of life insurance distributors in the categories of electronic new business tools, ease of doing business, customer service and responsiveness,” said Kenneth Byrd, Vice President of Protection New Business Operations. “Protective Velocity is one more way we honor our commitment to help more people achieve the sense of protection and security they deserve.”


Birmingham home office exterior

Protective collaborates with Alabama Power

Protective and Alabama Power announced a collaboration to provide 100% renewable energy to Protective’s Birmingham office in an effort to create a more sustainable future.


Employees meeting for a whiteboard session

Returning to the office and the future of work

After learning new ways to adapt and lead in a fully virtual environment, Protective recognized the need for another shift as they adapted to and led a distributed environment. Some employees returned to the office in 2021 and work from there full-time, while others are in a hybrid environment and others work fully remote. 

Protective continues to work to be transparent and consistent when communicating with employees and is ready to keep learning and adapting as the future of work continues to evolve.


 Rich Bielen leaning on window beside Protective sign

Showcasing our commitment as protectors

Protective aspires to become America’s most protective insurance company, and in 2021 Protective reached the milestone of having $1 trillion of life insurance in force. As part of this journey, Protective announced a new brand identity that exemplifies our 114-year commitment of putting people first, delivering on promises and striving to do more for our customers, business partners, employees and communities.

“We’re excited to tell our story and for our customers, partners and employees to see themselves as part of it. With drive and heart, we make the most of every opportunity to help others. It’s who we are and who we’ve always been,” Bielen wrote about the new brand.

“It’s simply our duty and responsibility to put people first — that will never change. If you are working for us, with us or are using our products: you are a protector.”


Protective Stadium sign lit with drone symbol behind

Introducing Protective Stadium

In September, Protective employees, elected officials, business and community leaders, and project partners gathered to commemorate the sign lighting at Protective Stadium.

The event also featured a spectacular finale with a drone show 400 feet in the sky, including 60 drones timed with lighted audience wristbands, counting down to the lighting of Protective Stadium’s new indigo sign.

Attendees also heard a poem from Trysten Manning, an eighth-grader at Phillips Academy, who was the winner of the Protective Stadium poetry contest. The winning poem, “Still, My Steel City,” will go in the stadium’s time capsule.


Fly V Bravo hat on rail at Protective Stadium with field in background

First event at Protective Stadium

On Oct. 2, we cheered on the UAB Blazers at their first home opener at Protective Stadium. 

Protective collaborated with local apparel brand Fly V to create a commemorative hat sold at UAB’s 2021 home football games. Proceeds from the hat will be split between Fly V and the Penny Foundation, which distributes funds through grants to Birmingham’s Northside communities.

Couple and young son smiling

Inaugural sustainability report

Protective unveiled its 2020 inaugural sustainability report, “Because we’re all protectors.” The report brings to life Protective’s sustainability strategy, aligned around three primary pillars where Protective has the greatest opportunity for continued growth and impact — areas of business, people and community.

“Protective has embraced change and thrived throughout our 114-year history. That’s why, since our founding, we have been diligent in building and advancing a sustainable company,” said Scott Adams, Protective Executive Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Strategy and Innovation. “At Protective, we strive to integrate sustainable practices into our organization because we know that a sustainable business means delivering on our promises to our customers, providing opportunities for continued growth and living out our purpose as protectors.”

In 2021, Protective continued our focus on business, people and community. We participated in the industry-wide Help Protect Our Families campaign focused on closing the insurance gap. We continued our DE&I celebration months, providing learning opportunities for employees, and introduced our Supplier Diversity Program, which is committed to exploring opportunities to be inclusive in the sourcing of goods and services to support our business operations. We partnered with Alabama Power on renewable energy efforts and supported more than 200 organizations that share our commitment to protecting our communities. 


Thank you for looking back through 2021 with us and all the moments that made it special. We look forward to 2022 and continuing to make the most of every opportunity to help more people. 


Protective and Protective Life refer to Protective Life Insurance Company (PLICO) and its affiliates, including Protective Life and Annuity Company (PLAIC). PLICO, founded in 1907, is located in Nashville, TN, and is licensed in all states excluding New York. PLAIC is located in Birmingham, AL, and is licensed in New York. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues. Product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing company.

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