IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford Honored by InvestmentNews

IRI’s Chief Executive Selected for Second Annual “Women to Watch” List

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today announced that IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford has been honored by InvestmentNews as one of its “Women to Watch” for 2016. The InvestmentNews award honors female financial advisors and industry executives who exemplify the definition of true leaders and role models. The 2016 honorees were announced in today’s issue of InvestmentNews

“Cathy and the other winners of this award are each distinguished leaders, who have advanced the business of providing advice through their passion, creativity and willingness to help other women along the way,” said Robert DeChellis, Chairman of the IRI Board of Directors and President and CEO of Allianz Life Financial Services, LLC. “Not only has Cathy been a tremendous advocate for our industry, but she also has been a leading voice for ensuring that the advisor community is inclusive and diverse. It is a great privilege to announce her as a recipient of this award and congratulate her on a well-earned achievement.”

Under Weatherford’s leadership, IRI has pursued and produced ground-breaking research examining the need to recruit more women to financial planning careers to help meet the diverse needs of the female market. Weatherford also has penned a new book, “Women and Wealth: Inspiring Stories from Real Women on the Path to Financial Success,” which will be available on and in January 2017. Her book contains stories from real women facing financial challenges. Each story offers lessons to provide practical knowledge and guidance for advisors to help other women.

Weatherford became President and CEO of IRI in 2008 and quickly began an extensive reorganization and rebranding of the association. This rebranding initiative resulted in expansive membership growth and more than doubled the organization’s budget. It also included instituting a research division, relocating the association to Washington, D.C., and establishing a government affairs operation to advocate for policies that encourage savings and promote lifetime income. 

Weatherford has spent most of her 40-year career as a regulator and consumer advocate. Before her tenure at IRI, she served as the CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). She also was the first woman to serve as Oklahoma’s Insurance Commissioner, a statewide elected office, a position she held from 1991 to 1995. In this capacity, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma State Employees Retirement Systems and on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma State Employees Group Insurance Program. Weatherford also served as a Senior Policy Advisor to Oklahoma Governor David Walters prior to becoming Insurance Commissioner.

In addition to this honor, Weatherford has received numerous awards for her leadership and contributions to national consumer education, including the Corporate and Social Responsibility Award for Distinguished Service in Promoting Sustainable Finance & Consumer Education for Retirees from City and State Reports, and Outstanding Association Executive from CEO Update. Under Weatherford’s leadership, IRI also was honored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as a 2016 recipient of the “Power of A” Silver Award for its efforts leading the National Retirement Planning Coalition, which organizes National Retirement Planning Week® each year. 

Weatherford is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Association Committee of 100, as well as the Exchequer Club of Washington, D.C., a preeminent forum for industry leaders to discuss national economic and financial policy issues. 

Click here to access the November 21 edition of InvestmentNews

About the Insured Retirement Institute: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading association for the retirement income industry. IRI proudly leads a national consumer coalition of 40 organizations, and is the only association that represents the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies. IRI members are the major insurers, asset managers, broker-dealers/distributors, and 150,000 financial professionals. As a not-for-profit organization, IRI provides an objective forum for communication and education, and advocates for the sustainable retirement solutions Americans need to help achieve a secure and dignified retirement. Learn more at

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Andrew Simonelli 

IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford Honored by InvestmentNews (PDF)