From Intern to GC: Richard Ellery Promoted at OneAmerica Financial Partners

Richard "Rich" Ellery joined OneAmerica Financial Partners Inc. over 20 years ago as an intern in its in-house legal department. A year later he became an in-house associate, and he now leads the legal team as general counsel of the mutual insurance holding company.

Ellery has grown into the job. "I have had the good fortune of having five different roles in my 20 years at OneAmerica," he told Corporate Counsel this week, starting with document reviews as a beginning lawyer. He went on to become chief legal and compliance counsel to the broker-dealer business segment, eventually becoming associate general counsel of the Indianapolis-based company.

In 2012, Ellery was named president of a business affiliate, OneAmerica Securities Inc., according to his profile on LinkedIn. And three years later he became deputy general counsel of the main company again.

"It's [changing roles that] allowed me to look at the enterprise not just from a legal perspective, but also from a profit and loss standpoint," Ellery said. "It's truly given me a great appreciation for the clients that we serve." 

An Aug. 21 statement from Scott Davison, chairman, president and CEO of OneAmerica, said, "Rich's rise from intern to executive-level officer is no surprise to anyone who knows him. In this key leadership role, he'll continue to serve OneAmerica with his considerable business talents and legal acumen. We're lucky to have him."

Ellery replaces General Counsel Thomas Zurek, who plans to retire in 2019. As part of the transition, Zurek remains with the company as executive vice president and chief legal counsel, with Ellery reporting to him until his retirement.

Zurek also serves as a member of the executive council, an ex officio member of the board of directors and secretary for all board and corporate functions. Zurek started at OneAmerica in 2002, after serving as executive vice president and general counsel for the American General Life companies.

In 2016, OneAmerica posted revenue of over $2 billion.

Contact Sue Reisinger at

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Sue Reisinger

Sue Reisinger is a Senior Reporter for Corporate Counsel. You can read more of her articles here or email her at

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