Photo by Lisa Mancuso Horn Photography
About Fred Sievert
Fred's Journey | in his own words
You might expect that, because I have a divinity degree, I grew up in the church from a young age. But I didn’t come to know God as many people do. I was raised in a lower-middle-class family that only occasionally spoke of God. When I was twelve years old, I received an unexpected visit from God, and it has had an enduring impact on me and on the strength of my faith throughout my lifetime. It later led to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout high school, college, my first career as a math teacher and then during my second career as an insurance actuary and ultimately the president of New York Life Insurance Company, I continued to reflect on God and to enjoy a deep spiritual connection with Jesus Christ. As a result, I developed a habit of prayer and listening. The significance of what I learned and felt during these reflections, my choice of actions and the experiences themselves — events that seemed random at the time — often didn’t become clear until many years later.
As I began telling the stories of my life to my family, I understood for the first time how every step of the way, and particularly during hardship and disappointment, God had been by my side. The Holy Spirit was there all along, whispering, advising and helping me make course corrections throughout my journey. Along the way, I realized that my dogged pursuit of the American dream often robbed my family and me of valuable time together — and time with God. That’s why I retired early, at age 59, to pursue a master’s degree in religion. I wanted to devote my time to delving deeper into the wonderful mysteries of God’s omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence.
The stories I tell about myself and about others are ultimately stories about you — about your own longing, disappointments, successes and need for balance. I hope these stories will serve as memory triggers for your own insights. And I hope you’ll reflect on your own life experiences and discover that they have not been random at all but rather exquisitely placed pieces of God’s master plan.
Fred Sievert started his career as a teacher, later entered the insurance business, and retired in 2007 as president of New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 corporation. He received the highest honor bestowed on insurance industry leaders by the American College of Financial Services (The Solomon Heubner Gold Medal Award) in 2008 and was named a “Legend of the Industry” in 2012, a joint award bestowed by the American Council of Life Insurance and The Actuarial Foundation. In 2013, Fred received the Lifetime Achievement award bestowed by the Million Dollar Round Table of New York.
Following his retirement, Fred attended Yale Divinity School and was awarded a master’s degree in religion in 2011. He teaches business school courses on strategy and leadership and serves on the boards of five nonprofit organizations and two for-profit corporations. He has had a number of non-fiction essays and articles published, most notably a highly acclaimed article in Wealth Channel magazine in 2013 titled “Happier Healthier, and Younger in Retirement”. In 2014, Fred published his first book, God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future and is currently writing a second book with the working title Grace in any Crisis.
Fred and his wife, Susan, have five grown children and three granddaughters.