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American Financial Services Association

Kristi “Kris” Nelson

Kristi “Kris” Nelson

PeopleWomen's Leadership Council

Kristi “Kris” Nelson

Second Vice President & Actuary
Securian Financial

Kris Nelson leads the credit protection product line for Securian Financial, the fourth largest credit life and disability insurer in the United States. Her responsibilities include direct oversight for the financial management, strategic planning, and operations of the debt cancellation and credit insurance products along with Securian’s consumer loan forms.
Kris has over 30 years of insurance industry experience. She started her career at Securian in 1987 and was promoted to second vice president in 2014.

Very active in the regulatory issues impacting debt protection and credit insurance, Kris has met with the CFPB to provide education on the value of the programs to consumers. She is an active participant in the Consumer Credit Industry Association and currently serves on the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors. And, she is a member of AFSA’s Women’s Leadership Council, Ancillary Products Working Group and State Government Affairs Committee.

Areas of Expertise
Financial Management, Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Regulatory Issues, Team Building

Areas of expertise upon which I would like to continue learning.
Operations Management, Negotiation

What three keywords best describe you?
Dependable, Approachable, Loyal

Personal Motto
Results through caring collaboration!

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about working with others to get things done! I strongly believe that it is important to develop personal relationships so that you work together well as a team and know each other's strengths. When there are tough issues to solve, it is easier if you have already built a relationship with that person!

What is something interesting about you that members might not know?
I was a fast-pitch softball pitcher in college!

Who has been a role model for you?
Securian's retired Chief Actuary, Leslie Chapman, was a role model to me. She was a strong individual who led with poise and grace. She had a natural ability of listening and helping to take the emotion out of a situation. She helped me to think through whether I was misinterpreting a situation and how best to take a deep breath and respond!

What are you most proud of?
Being able to make a career change to an entirely different division in the company and having it be successful! It was a huge risk for me, but it was the best thing to help me to continue to grow and learn while advancing in my career!

MENTORING

What would you say are the key success factors for a mentoring relationship?
It is important to meet regularly, have an agenda of topics to discuss, be open and honest, and try to share your experiences so that you are not telling someone what to do, but sharing what worked for you!

What advice would you give yourself as a young executive?
Raise your hand for opportunities that are interesting to you! You do not need to be the expert, but the best way to be able to build your skill set is to try new things. Unless you ask, others do not know what you want to do!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career?
Always come to the table with a recommendation. If you have questions about a project, or have done research, make sure you do not just ask the question or present you research – be prepared with a recommendation or suggested actions. Even if it is not a good recommendation, it makes you spend time thinking about how you are going to pitch it and developing reasons for why you are recommending what you are!