Our Management Team

James R. Belardi

Chief Executive Officer
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer
Athene Asset Management LLC and Athene Holding Ltd.

Prior to founding Athene Holding Ltd. and AAM, Jim Belardi was President of SunAmerica Life Insurance Company and was also Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of AIG Retirement Services, Inc., responsible for a $250 billion invested asset portfolio. Sun America was the best performing stock on the NYSE in the 1990s, appreciating 21,300 percent or 213 times. In 1994, Jim created the GIC-backed note (GICBN), which has since developed into a $300 billion market. AIG SunAmerica is the largest GICBN issuer with approximately $50 billion in issuance. In June 2006 Jim left AIG Retirement Services to start Athene Holding Ltd. and Athene Asset Management.

Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Loyola Marymount University, Paulist Productions, where he chairs the investment committee, and Southern California Aquatics.

Jim swam in the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Trials and is a nine time Masters World Record holder.


Guy H. Smith, III (Chip)

President
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Chip Smith is a president of Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company, a subsidiary of Athene Holding, Ltd. focused on retail annuity sales and reinsurance in the retirement services market.

Chip was president and CEO of Liberty Life Insurance Company from April 2010 until its acquisition by Athene in April 2011.  Before that he served as Liberty’s vice president, treasurer, and chief financial officer.

After coming to Liberty in 1992 from Ernst & Young, Chip held various positions in finance including director-finance and controller. He is active in community organizations, serving on the Erskine College Investment Committee and previously as chairman of its board of trustees. He is also active in his church, serving as an elder and treasurer for the church and denomination.

Chip is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI) and is a Certified Public Accountant.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Erskine College.


Christopher Grady

Executive Vice President and Head of Retail
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Chris Grady joined Athene Annuity in March 2011 as the Head of Retail, responsible for building a market-leading provider of consumer retirement solutions under the Athene brand.

Prior to joining Athene Annuity, Chris was President of distribution and marketing for Genworth Financial’s life insurance companies. He oversaw a diverse, multi-channel sales and marketing organization that produced nearly $4.7 billion in annuity sales and more than $550 million in premiums in life and long term care insurance products in the U.S. market.

Before joining Genworth, Chris spent 14 years in senior leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, ultimately serving as Managing Director and National Sales Manager for Merrill’s Consumer Finance Group. In addition, he held various sales management positions at Mass Mutual, including director of advanced sales. As a district manager Chris qualified for life membership in the Million Dollar Round Table.

Chris received a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland.


Rod Mims

Senior Vice President, National Sales Manager
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Rod Mims joined Athene Annuity in July 2011 as the National Sales Manager with responsibility for sales and business development.

Rod has more than 20 years of insurance and investment experience in a broad spectrum of roles ranging from personal production and wholesaling to sales management at the division and national levels.  Prior to joining Athene Annuity, he was the national sales manager for Genworth Financial, with responsibility spanning its bank, wirehouse and independent broker-dealer channels.

Rod received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.  Rod holds a life insurance license, as well as securities licenses 7, 24 and 63.


Alison Denis

Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Alison Denis joined Athene Annuity in September 2011 as Chief Marketing Officer responsible for brand management, advertising and communications, sales training and incentive programs for Athene’s expanding retail annuity business.

Prior to joining Athene Annuity,  Alison founded and led Edgehill Consulting, LLC, a marketing consulting firm with clients in the insurance, financial services, health care and not-for-profit sectors.  She is a veteran marketer with over 20 years of experience in marketing management, strategic planning and advertising.  Alison has held key marketing roles at major financial firms, including UBS, Merrill Lynch, and GE Capital, as well as leading advertising agencies, including, Hill Holliday and Digitas.

Alison received her Masters of Business Administration from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College.