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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Tom Grote


Banner | Aetna

Location: Phoenix

Founded: 2017

Industry: Healthcare

As the founding CEO of Banner | Aetna, Tom Grote has helped bridge the gap between Banner Health, the largest care delivery system in Arizona, and Aetna, a leading health insurer backed by CVS Health. By establishing a 50/50 financial alignment between the health system and payer, Grote has transformed the traditionally adversarial relationship between insurers and providers into a collaborative effort focused on improving the consumer healthcare experience, his team said. This joint venture model enables greater data sharing, cost savings and improved care.

During a 36-year career as an insurance executive and leader, Grote has held key roles in markets across the country. He was instrumental in launching three health insurance joint venture companies, including Aetna’s first, fostering collaboration between insurers and provider parent organizations.

“Along my career, I’ve made decisions and taken risks that haven’t just impacted me but my family as well,” Grote said. “When I participated in an Aetna group school training program, we didn’t know where we would be assigned when I graduated but knew we would have to relocate. I requested a big city on the East Coast — we got Akron, Ohio.

“Eventually I became the national account market head for Ohio, which was a great role, and the family was very happy. But after seven years doing the same job, I realized I needed to move if I wanted to keep growing professionally. We took another risk and decided to uproot the family and move to Maryland while our kids were in middle school.

“Ultimately, it was a good decision, and once the kids got settled in and transitioned, everything went well from that point. Plus, I think it was an experience that allowed them to build independence, because all of them went out of state for college.”

Under Grote’s leadership, Banner | Aetna has become Arizona’s fastest-growing health plan with over 425,000 members. In 2022, the company expanded its reach by entering the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchange marketplace, providing coverage to individuals and families across six counties in Arizona.

Grote volunteers with the Phoenix American Heart Association chapter and chairs the Phoenix Heart Walk. His personal connection to the mission of the organization, driven by the loss of his father, his brother and his best friend to heart attacks, fuels his dedication to making a difference.

Grote is a sought-after speaker at national industry events and a featured contributor in healthcare publications.

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

A life-long athlete, Tom was captain of the lacrosse team at Notre Dame University and continued to play the sport into his 50s. He passed his love for lacrosse to his daughter, who is a Division I coach. Tom credits athletics as being formative to his leadership and teamwork skills.


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