New York Life Insurance Company, New York, has announced that it will place its life insurance manufacturing and marketing operations under the direction of Senior Vice President Mark Pfaff, who has run the agency department since 2006. The move creates a powerful combination of the industry’s leading field force and one of its strongest life insurance franchises. Concurrent with that announcement, the company said it has bolstered its retirement business. Senior Vice President Chris Blunt will run a new organization, Retirement Income Security (RIS), dedicated to providing solutions to consumers in both the accumulation and income phases of retirement. RIS brings together for the first time under a single executive, New York Life’s income annuities, investment annuities, long-term care insurance, and the distribution of mutual funds.
Ted Mathas, New York Life’s president and chief executive officer, said, “With these organizational changes we are combining our number one product – life insurance – with our primary distribution system – career agents. I expect the combination to grow the company, which benefits our policyholders over the long term, and bring numerous consumer benefits in the form of better product development, better marketing, and in the end, a better-protected public.
“At the same time we recognize the enormous potential for New York Life to contribute to the retirement security of millions of people across the country. By focusing on our unique positions and capabilities in annuities, long term care insurance and mutual funds, we will grow more rapidly and provide better solutions to consumers seeking reliable sources of income in retirement. Mark Pfaff and Chris Blunt are veteran leaders and I have every confidence they will lead these businesses to substantially greater growth in the decade ahead.” Mr. Mathas noted that with these changes the four primary business operations of New York Life are:
? U.S. Life Insurance and Agency
? Retirement Income Security
? Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary with more than $235 billion in assets under management.
? International, a wholly owned subsidiary with insurance operations in eight markets in Asia and Latin America.
U.S. Life Insurance and Agency
The U.S. life insurance operations being consolidated under Mark Pfaff include the company’s individual, bank- and corporate-owned life insurance, as well as its Group Membership Association Division, the largest underwriter of professional association insurance programs in the United States, and life insurance sold through an exclusive, endorsed program with AARP. Consolidated revenue is expected to be more than $8 billion in 2008. Agency has more than 10,500 licensed agents in the United States.
Mr. Pfaff said, “Our mission for 163 years has been to bring the protection of life insurance to as many families as possible. The role of the agent in this process has never been more important, as studies have shown that Americans are significantly underinsured. Much of that phenomenon can be attributed to a lack of good advice. As one of America’s leading life insurance companies, we can have a positive impact in countering the nation’s underinsurance problem. We believe we have the best-trained, most professional career agents in the nation. This is also a time when more Americans are seeking advice about their family’s financial future. I know that combining our agency operations with the life insurance operations will lead to stronger growth of our company’s primary product line, greater benefits to the consumer, as well as more opportunities for those seeking careers in insurance and financial services.”
Mr. Pfaff noted that a recent public opinion survey by Greenwald & Associates, sponsored by New York Life, found that Americans have just half the life insurance they need to achieve their own self-described financial objectives.
Retirement Income Security
Retirement Income Security (RIS) is expected to have consolidated revenue of more than $2 billion for 2008, including revenue from income annuities, investment annuities, long term care insurance and retail mutual funds. In running RIS, Chris Blunt will focus on leveraging New York Life’s financial strength, innovation and leadership position as the country’s largest mutual life insurer, to provide products and services that will help address America’s retirement security challenge.
“The retirement security challenge is massive, with 77 million Baby Boomers heading into retirement joining the millions of Americans who are already there,” said Mr. Blunt. “The current financial crisis has shown how very costly a wrong move can be to individuals in, or near to, retirement. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to work in a very focused way on retirement security, where so much is at stake for so many people, and where our work can make such a difference in people’s lives. We will be leveraging New York Life’s strengths to find new, innovative ways to help Americans accumulate savings, protect those savings and plan for retirement income they can rely on, no matter what crisis may confront them.”
Mr. Blunt and Mr. Pfaff are both members of New York Life’s Executive Management Committee, which is comprised of its senior executive leadership and assists the CEO in setting policy for the company.
Mr. Blunt graduated from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined New York Life in 2004. Mr. Pfaff received a B.A. from Manhattan College and an A.A. degree from Westchester Community College. He joined New York Life in 1985.