NU Online News Service, April 29, 2003, 12:58 p.m. EDT – North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Durham, N.C., has picked James Speed Jr. to become the company’s new president and chief executive officer at the end of the year.

Speed, who previously was the company’s chief financial officer, will succeed Bert Collins.

Collins, who has been North Carolina Mutual’s president since 1990, will become chairman, and Nathan Garrett, the current chairman, will become chairman emeritus, the company says.

Speed has a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University and a master’s degree in business from Atlanta University. He holds the Certified Public Accountant professional designation.

North Carolina Mutual, which was founded in 1898, says it believes that it is the nation’s oldest and largest African-American life insurance company. It is licensed to operate in 22 states and the District of Columbia.