New York Life Insurance Company, New York, announced in its third quarter earnings results, released Monday, that the company’s dividends to participating policyholders will increase by $100 million in 2013, an 8% rise over the company’s 2012 payout.
Mark Pfaff, New York Life’s executive vice president of agency operations, says the dividend distribution is in part a result of the “ongoing strength” of the company’s whole life portfolio, robust earnings, operating cost savings and growth of the company’s capital surplus, which now exceeds $19 billion.
Neal Strauss, vice president and senior credit officer of Moody’s Investors Services Inc., New York, adds that New York Life’s financial strength is mirrored in the company’s sterling credit rating: AAA, Moody’s highest rating.
“New York Life has a strong market position and brand, a diversified product portfolio, as well as capital adequacy and liquidity,” says Strauss. “Plus, the company has a very strong distribution field force.”
Pfaff says that New York Life’s career agency workforce, which numbers more than 12,000 agents, now has as a significant presence in the U.S.’ burgeoning cultural markets, including the African-American, Asian-American and Latino-American markets, The company invested “heavily” in these sectors three years ago, he notes, by recruiting and training agents to serve them.
New York Life recorded a 4% increase in agent recruitment over the same period in 2011, with 2,396 new agents hired through Sept. 30, 2012. In addition, 79% of the new agent hires in 2012 have been either women or individuals representing cultural markets.
“We’re now seeing the pay-off three years out,” he says Pfaff. “We’re on track to attain our sales goals in these markets.”
New York Life’s agents recorded an increase of 11% in sales of recurring premium whole life insurance over the third quarter of 2011; The company’s annuity sales also rose 16%, driven by income annuity sales, which are up 17%.