Ready to Serve You

doing whatever it takes to earn your business


Stephen Gates

Stephen Gates, CEO and Co-President

Steve has 31 years of financial services experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Occidental College in 1982. His career started as a stock broker, retailing securities and life insurance for Newhard Cook and Company, a NYSE firm. At SunLife (later SunAmerica), Steve earned his stripes in a startup division dedicated to distributing insurance products through banks. With this expertise, Steve founded Clarke Financial Group in 1992. He is the driving force behind the development of top proprietary fixed annuity products in the industry, as well as AnnuityNetTM, AssureXPress TM, and Advisor Portal, tools designed to maximize advisor productivity. Steve carries FINRA Series 7, 8, and 63 licenses and is a Life & Health insurance representative in the state of California. An avid sportsman, he enjoys an active life with his wife and three children. Clarke Financial Group and the Gates family actively support the mission of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

Michael Denton

Michael Denton, COO and Co-President

Michael shares Clarke’s leadership responsibilities with Steve. Michael’s 25 year career in financial services began with the founding of his own multi-state insurance and securities marketing firm. He went on to become president of Laughlin Retail Services (Laughlin Group of Companies) where he managed the broker dealer channel. Laughlin Group became the largest independent distributor for the bank marketplace of GICs, mutual funds, and annuities, producing over $2 billion a year in sales. In 1996, he was involved in the successful purchase of Laughlin Group by Allstate Life Insurance. Before joining Clarke in 2004, he worked for Jefferson Pilot Financial as a senior vice president, developing the Financial Institution Marketing Division, which grew to become a top 10 provider of fixed annuities in the bank marketplace. He carries FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses and is a Life & Health insurance representative in the state of Oregon. Michael is happily married and has three children. He works out of a satellite office because he loves fishing and the natural beauty of the Northwest.

Clarke in the Field

Clarke has regional vice presidents who serve the continental United States in four territories: Eastern, Central, Midwest, and Western. All of these individuals carry FINRA securities licenses and are Life & Health insurance representatives in key states within their territory. Our RVPs are available to provide product and sales training, create illustrations, demonstrate how to use AnnuityNetTM, AssureXPressTM, and Advisor Portal, and meet with producers of the banks, broker-dealers, credit unions, and producer groups we serve. To learn more about our Lead RVPs, please log in with your designated password.

Our Home Office Team

Our home office is located in Irvine, California, and staffed with a growing team of experienced individuals. They are dedicated to providing superior support. Our operations manager leads a team of case management and resolution specialists. Our relationship managers support the work of our outside wholesaling team. To learn more about the staff that support your annuity, long-term care, or life product program, log in with your designated password. To learn about working with us, view Clarke Careers.