Homesteaders Life Co. in West Des Moines has hired Nick Gerhart as executive vice president and chief innovation officer, effective Aug. 3. Gerhart, who was Iowa’s insurance commissioner from 2013 to 2016, most recently was chief administrative officer of FBL Financial Group. In his new role, he will be responsible for seeking out and developing opportunities for company growth through innovation, the company said in a press release. While insurance commissioner, Gerhart was instrumental in helping to create the Global Insurance Symposium event held annually in Des Moines. “This important addition to our team is consistent with our ongoing commitment to attract and retain the best talent at all levels of the organization to help us continue to promote the value of funeral service and enable us to reach more people interested in funeral prearrangement and funding,” said Steve Shaffer, president and CEO of Homesteaders.