Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Name and title: Joey M. Loudermilk, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Age: 55 Quack quack: Aflac Inc. (the acronym for American Family Life Assurance Co.) was the brainchild of three Georgia brothers. Established in 1955, Aflac pioneered cancer insurance. It now focuses on supplemental health, accident and life policies, with insurance products paying cash benefits should a policyholder experience a covered event. In 1956, the firm had 6,426 customers. Today, it counts more than 40 million insured in the United States and Japan. Aflac is the largest provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States. Still based in Columbus, Ga., it employs 12,500 in the United States and Asia, plus 172,800 licensed agents. It reported 2007 revenues of $15.4 billion. Its mascot, the charmingly irascible Aflac Duck, has achieved advertising-icon status. Part of the solution: Loudermilk sees Aflac as “part of the health care solution, not the problem.” Concerning the potential for universal health care in the United States, he asserts that, for Aflac, “private v. government” is not an issue. “There will be a place for Aflac no matter what the landscape looks like,” he said. Aflac sells indemnity insurance, directly paying customers the stated benefits in their policies. It fills the coverage gaps in other insurance policies, so if more people are insured, Aflac’s client base should expand. Japan uses a single-payer system, yet Loudermilk’s company still insures 25% of the population there, he noted. Aflac’s top lawyer is proud that, despite the company’s large size, it is the target of only a “very small” amount of litigation. Loudermilk did note a small uptick in claims beginning in 2008, which he attributes to the struggling economy. Loudermilk summed up Aflac’s philosophy as follows: “We like paying claims.” He considers this both a sound business tactic and good legal policy. Aflac, he insisted, does not fall back on technicalities to avoid satisfying claims. Legal team and outside counsel: Aflac’s law group numbers 20. The U.S. legal division consists of Loudermilk and nine other attorneys. Five more hold down the fort in Tokyo. Four additional lawyers report to Loudermilk, covering government relations, federal affairs and state-level matters. A compliance department attorney completes the team. Two firms have been on retainer for a number of years. New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom assists in the securities arena. Additionally, “with Aflac being a Georgia company,” Atlanta’s Alston & Bird is called upon to provide counsel, Loudermilk said. Loudermilk generally does the hiring, but seeks his squad’s input in the decision-making process. Loudermilk steers as much work as possible in-house. His primary focus is “preventive law,” he said � trying to anticipate legal problems and developing systems to handle them before they become serious. Daily duties: Loudermilk describes himself as “very much” a generalist. His role as corporate secretary generates a wealth of activities. He attends to five annual board meetings, and sees to various committee duties and shareholder responsibilities. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has “made life very much more complicated than it was before,” Loudermilk said. Aflac had in place many of the law’s safeguards even before its enactment, he said. Still, “while we are not having to reinvent the wheel,” the company now faces many more documentation and demands to ensure compliance. Insurance is regulated primarily at the state level. Although not a registered lobbyist, Loudermilk is deeply involved with the regulatory aspects of his field. He is in touch with Aflac’s network of lobbyists in all 50 states and with representatives who monitor insurance-related legislation in Japan. The legal team handles the contract work for the Aflac Duck commercials, ubiquitous in the United States and in Japan (where the duck smiles, laughs and even dances, in contrast to the more curmudgeonly American version). Aflac attorneys are active in the local bar, and many are involved in pro bono efforts. Loudermilk himself takes a personal interest in the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service for pediatric patients. Plush toy ducks are sold through various retail outlets to raise money for the cancer center, and Loudermilk performs contract duties for that enterprise. He travels to Japan every other year to monitor Aflac’s activities there. He participates in a weekly international teleconference to review Japanese legal issues and share a U.S. perspective. A state-of-the-art “telepresence” video system is another means of communicating with his Japanese counterparts. A typical day at the office is nonexistent, Loudermilk said, but there is one constant: He spends a lot of time, “sometimes all morning,” processing his e-mail. Route to present position: Loudermilk has devoted his career to Aflac. He reports up the corporate chain to chairman and chief executive officer Daniel P. Amos, who hired him 25 years ago as Aflac’s first in-house attorney. Loudermilk became general counsel in 1991, eventually adding the titles of vice president, senior vice president and executive vice president to his portfolio. He has assumed other duties as well: Since 1990, he has managed political affairs of Aflac, and he has been promoted to corporate secretary. Loudermilk graduated in 1975 from Georgia State University and achieved his juris doctorate in 1978 from the University of Georgia School of Law. Personal: Loudermilk and his wife, Ramona, are the parents of six children: Matt, 33; Justin, 30; Jenny, 26; Joanna, 19; John Mark, 16; and Jackson, soon to be 14. Loudermilk, who was born on Georgia’s Warner-Robbins Air Force Base, lists his children, reading, movies, sports and hunting as hobbies. Loudermilk lists as a career highlight negotiating the rights to Aflac’s pre-acronym name in all 50 states � the words “American” and “Family” having been somewhat generic constituents of many company names. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when Loudermilk negotiated the purchase of the American Family name in the Lone Star state from a “Texas maverick.” Last books and movie: The Appeal, by John Grisham, and Jefferson Davis, American, by William J. Cooper Jr.; and No Country for Old Men.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.