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New York Life posts double-digit earnings increase

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New York Life Insurance Company enjoyed a double-digit increase in profits last year, the company disclosed today in its 2012 financial results.

Operating earnings, the company’s measure to track profitability from ongoing operations, grew 18.4 percent in 2012 to $1.6 billion from 1.3 billion in 2011. This marks the fifth of the last six years where earnings rose to a historical high.

“Our earnings benefited from strong performance of our investments business, which provides a diversified earnings stream that supports our financial strength,” said New York Life Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas. “[Earnings also benefited] from steps we took to reduce our operating costs by $100 million annually.”

In 2012, New York Life’s surplus and asset valuation reserve — a primary measure of financial strength — also rose 10 percent to a record high of $19.6 billion, up from $17.9 billion in 2011. 

Individual recurring premium life insurance sales through agents grew 4 percent over 2011, while annuity sales through agents were up 9 percent. 

Sales of long-term mutual funds through agents soared 34 percent over the prior year, driven by “consistent investment performance” from the company’s investment boutiques, the company reports. 

Assets under management for New York Life increased 12.6 percent to $381 billion from $338.3 billion. 

The company also reports that it paid $4.6 billion in benefits and dividends to the Insurance Group’s life insurance policyholders. 

Turning to agency distribution, the company reports the following results:

  • Sales of recurring premium life insurance by the company’s 12,000 licensed agents increased 4 percent;
  • Agent sales of annuities rose 9 percent over 2011;
  • Sales of mutual funds by agents increased 34 percent over the prior year;
  • The company hired 3,597 full-time agents last year;
  • Since 2007, the company has recorded 11 percent growth of its agent force;
  • In 2012, 62 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were women or individuals who represent the cultural markets.


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