The CEO of FBL Financial Group Inc. will step down from his position at the end of the month, the company announced this morning.

James Hohmann, CEO of FBL, will also step down from the company's board, effective June 30. James Brannen, the company's chief financial officer, chief administrative officer and treasurer, will serve as the interim CEO. 

Hohmann said in a release that FBL has seen "tremendous success" in the three years he has served as CEO, and it is time for him to "find a new challenge." 

"When I was hired as CEO of FBL Financial Group the company was struggling to address the serious challenges brought upon by the financial crisis," Hohman said in a release. "We dramatically strengthened our capital position, increased profitability and grew our business culminating in Fortune magazine recognizing us as one of their Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies based upon revenue, operating income and total return to shareholders." 

FBL Chairman Craig Hill praised Hohmann in a release, saying his work in the last three years has made the company a "financially stronger and more focused organization."

In May, FBL reported first-quarter net income of $16.6 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with $25.1 million, or 80 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2011.

 

Hohmann joined FBL during the height of the Great Recession in April 2009 as interim president and CEO, and was named to those positions permanently in January 2010. In a January 2011 interview with the Business Record, Hohmann listed the "reinvention" of its EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. subsidiary as one of his company's top priorities. However, FBL announced in November 2011 its decision to sell EquiTrust.

 

FBL launched EquiTrust in 2003 to sell retirement annuities to Baby Boomers, but in 2010 embarked on a strategy to target breadwinners in generations X and Y seeking life insurance protection during their prime earning years.
 
Brannen, the interim CEO, is a certified public accountant and graduate of the University of Iowa. He joined FBL in 1991 and has served in his current position since 2007, according to a release.

FBL shares were trading at $25.75 at midmorning following the announcement, down 37 cents, or 1.42 percent.