Steve Palmitier, president and chief operating officer of Sammons Financial Group’s life insurance division, has announced his plan to retire at the end of the year. In his 25 years with Sammons, Palmitier has been instrumental in growing the insurance group’s life insurance business lines – Midland National and North American – since joining the West Des Moines-based company in 1996. Most recently, Palmitier redefined the company’s overall life insurance strategy through a focus on product, distribution, and enhanced customer experience. Palmitier, who is based in Chicago, has 43 years of experience in the life insurance industry, beginning his career as an agent and later becoming a regional vice president and home office executive. With Sammons, he grew the life business line and led his team through key mergers and acquisitions including the acquisition of Clarica and its assimilation into the North American brand. Sammons Financial Group will immediately begin the process to find Palmitier’s successor.