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Finding and Capturing Value through Vision and Teamwork

Mark Schwarzmann is a proven business and team builder who has succeeded at the highest levels in global enterprises. His easy style and ability to assimilate into an organization, grasp the environment, rally the team around a vision, translate that vision into understandable, actionable elements, garner broad support and engagement, and quickly and efficiently execute has been effective in financial services, enterprise software, commercial real estate and heavy manufacturing. His most recent work with leaders through Independence Associates has helped hone short and long-term strategies, develop capital and balance sheet management discipline, rethink product and go-to-market strategies, and even chart an organizational design for a rapidly growing industrial reseller. While continuing his consulting work, Mark hopes to find the right opportunity to energize and grow businesses on a full time basis, returning to the camaraderie of the office and the sense of satisfaction only available from seeing a vision through.

Bringing Fast, Meaningful Results to Businesses by Thoughtful Change

  • Increased revenue and income over 100% in each of last five businesses, while improving market share, returns, employee and client satisfaction.
  • Turned around a breakeven industrial business to generate the highest returns in company and a money losing high-tech business to breakeven, each in just two years.
  • Grew a consumer business customer base by over 125%, while improving customer service levels by 56% and operating margin by 63%, all in one year.

Driving Organizational Change and Performance

  • Strategic and Business Planning
  • Financial and Market Analytics
  • P&L and Balance Sheet Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Organizational Efficiency
  • Sarbanes Oxley Compliance
  • Operational Execution
  • Sales, Marketing & Distribution Leadership
  • Global Product Management
  • M&A and Joint Venture Negotiation
  • Product Design and Commercialization
  • Team Building and Leader Development

Contact me: [email protected]


Board Member at ACLI

Board member at American Council of Life Insurers and Chair of Membership Committee.  Wrestled with issues as diverse as the principles based reserving compromise, optional federal charter, and international accounting rule convergence.

Tech-Savvy CEO 2006

Insurance & Technology Magazine

Panel Member

The Fifth Annual James A. & Linda R. Mitchell/American College Forum on Ethical Leadership in Financial Services

Press Citations


“Mark combines the analytical side of the business along with engaging the team to pull together to achieve a specific goal. He understands that the head and heart need to be aligned for any organization to win at the highest level. It was a positive experience having Mark as my ranking colleague.”  - Jeffrey McGregor

“I worked for Mark as his business leader for Outside distribution. Mark is an extraordinary business leader. He possesses immense intellectual and street intelligence. He excels as a strategic and tactical thinker and he executes. He demands excellence and integrity and if you work for and with him you are inspired to deliver that. He builds great teams by attracting talented people, creating trust and clearing a path for the team's success. As his third party distribution leader, I took every opportunity to put Mark in front of our most important customers and employees because he added value, improved our credibility, and helped us win and keep business.” - Marty Griffin

“I worked for Mark in the planning and execution of product development projects, large infrastructure projects, and the consolidation of insurance companies within Ameriprise. His ability to quickly understand complex concepts made my job much easier. I was able to use him as a sounding board and coach for the large and risky projects my group worked on. His support as a leader was key to our success. I have rarely seen a leader be able to "clear the path" so that his people could focus on getting the work done. He has a broad and deep understanding of the insurance business from the products themselves to marketing and service. As a people leader Mark was also quick to reward good performance. He made us feel that we were part of a team. We wanted to do outstanding work for him. He is amazing calm under pressure. When things did go wrong, his attitude was let's figure out how to fix this not whose fault is this. One of the best leaders I have worked for.”  - Jeninne McGee

“Mark is a top tier leader with great analytic power, focus and ability to recognize/capitalize on emerging trends. As a people leader, Mark excells at retaining top talent, establishing clear platforms for cross organization accountability/success and delivery of leadership needed to assure excellence in execution.” - David Matteson

“Mark consistently demonstrates the leadership skills required to successfully deliver business results. He provides vision, financial acumen and keen negotiating skills combined with an ability to communicate clearly and effectively in a tough but personal style resulting in loyal and highly functional teams.”  - Eric Lund


Work experience



Independence Associates

Providing counsel to financial services and non-profit leaders in marketing, distribution and product strategy, as well as specialized balance sheet management approaches to improve short and long term profitability.. 

Senior advisory service for business leaders and select senior team members providing a sounding board for strategy and product development, implementation planning, execution issues, what-if scenarios, team dynamics issues, balance sheet and capital management techniques, etc.


President - Insurance, Annuities & Product Distribution

Ameriprise Financial

President - Insurance, Annuities & Product Distribution

Chairman & CEO – RiverSource Life Insurance Companies and RiverSource Distributors, Inc.

Jan 1997Jan 2000

SVP - Wealth Management Services/SVP - Financial Institution Services

GE Financial Assurance (now Genworth Financial)

Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Services

Senior Vice President – Financial Institution Services

Jan 1995Jan 1997

SVP - Chief Operating Officer

GE Capital-ResCom

A 60/40 joint venture alternative telephone provider for apartment complexes nationally.


MD - Business Development

GE Capital Commercial Real Estate Financing & Services
Jan 1990Jan 1994


GE Power Generation

Program General Manager – GE Power Generation Cycle Reduction

Product Manager – Mechanical Drive Turbine

Manager, Product Planning – Mechanical Drive Turbine



GE Corporate Audit Staff, GE Plastics, GE Aerospace


Business Transformation
Consistently delivering transformational business plans and execution through thorough competitive and market assessments, strengthening teams, consensus building, communicating clear, meaningful goals and approaches, and creating a transparent, inclusive, open culture.
Business Leadership
Global Business Assessment Global Strategy Development Strategy Operationalizing & Execution Strategy Communication Talent Assessment & Team Building Global Client Relations – Institutional & Retail Balance Sheet Management Asset/Liability Management Enterprise Risk Management Global M&A/Integration    



Lafayette College