Contact Us
Plans and Services Health and Wellness About Wellmark Member Employer Producer Provider
Home About Wellmark Newsroom News Releases
» Promises MatterTM
» Careers
» Contact Us
» Community
» Newsroom
» Company Information
» Health Care Reform
» Privacy and Legal
 Printer-Friendly Page
Wellmark announces transition of finance leadership
August 1, 2011

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announces the retirement of Executive Vice President, CFO and Treasurer Dave Southwell, and the appointment of David Brown to the same position.


Southwell, who joined Wellmark in 1997, has served in health care finance leadership positions for more than 30 years. His retirement is effective in September 2011. Highlights of Southwell’s career at Wellmark include:

  • Leading Wellmark’s finance, underwriting, tax, actuarial, investments, real estate and facilities departments while maintaining an “excellent” rating from AM Best and Standard and Poor’s
  • Implementing process changes and controls to keep Wellmark’s operating costs at industry leading low levels
  • Implementing new contracting and payment systems with hospitals, physicians and other health care providers
  • Spearheading the property acquisition and construction of Wellmark’s new headquarters building in Des Moines, which became the largest facility of its kind in the world to receive LEED Platinum certification

Southwell has also been active in the community, serving on the boards of both ChildServe and Variety – The Children’s Charity, and chairing the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s economic development committee.


“Dave’s accomplishments are significant not just for Wellmark as a company, but for our policyholders as well,” says Wellmark Chairman and CEO John D. Forsyth. “He has been instrumental in reducing our administrative expenses to among the lowest in the industry, without compromising on the service our members expect from Wellmark.


“It’s been my pleasure working with Dave and his contributions are very much appreciated.”


Brown, a native of New York, joined Wellmark in May. A certified public accountant, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. In his new role, Brown will lead all of Wellmark’s finance-related activities, including budget, underwriting, actuarial services, investments, tax, procurement, and financial reporting.


“The health insurance industry is in the midst of unprecedented change and we’re building an executive team for the future,” notes Forsyth. “David will be a key player in helping Wellmark strategically implement health care reform for its customers, as well as achieve a sustainable health care system where costs are held in line with inflation.”


Prior to joining Wellmark, Brown spent 12 years with Capital One Financial, most recently as managing vice president, where he led the finance function for Capital One’s domestic credit card business. Brown’s career also includes positions at the management consulting firm Bain and Company, and at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.


Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

Follow Wellmark on Twitter

Quick Links

» Who We Are
» Fast Facts
» Financials
» Officers
» Board
» History
FacebookTwitterInstagrampinterestLinked InYou Tube