In 1903, Southern Life & Trust sold its first life insurance policy in North Carolina. This was most likely one of the first life insurance policies sold by a local company anywhere in the South, and it served as the launching point for the modern Jefferson Pilot Financial. Over the next fifty years, sister companies Pilot Life and Jefferson-Standard, both headquartered in Greensboro, grew steadily and invested heavily in their native South. When they formally merged in 1987 at the behest of CEO Roger Soles, the companies had gained a reputation for financial integrity and strength throughout the industry. In the 1990s, under CEO David Stonecipher, Jefferson-Pilot engineered four acquisitions, including Kentucky Central Life, Alexander Hamilton, Chubb Life, and Guarantee Life. By 2003, Jefferson-Pilot had evolved into one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States and a leader in universal life insurance policies.