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New York Life Names Craig DeSanto to Be Next CEO

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What You Need to Know

  • He started out as a summer actuarial intern in 1997.
  • One of his jobs was overseeing retail annuities.
  • Another job was overseeing an investment management arm with $450 billion in assets under management.

The board of New York Life Insurance Company has picked Craig DeSanto, the company’s president, to succeed Ted Mathas as the CEO in April 2022.

Mathas, who is New York Life’s chairman as well as its CEO, will continue to be the company’s chairman.

Mathas took over from Sy Sternberg in 2008.

New York Life is a policyholder-owned mutual life insurer that was founded in 1845 and is known for its network of career agents.

DeSanto said, in a comment included in the announcement about his new post, that he has a deep appreciation for the company’s history of providing financial security for policy owners and clients.

The company’s mutuality and career agency system “position us exceptionally well to continue to provide the trusted advice and guidance our clients expect from us,” DeSanto said.

The Rise of an Intern

DeSanto started out at New York Life as a summer actuarial intern in 1997. He has risen up through the ranks at the institutional life business, the individual life business and the Eagle Strategies unit.

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He began overseeing retail annuities in 2018 and New York Life Investment Management in 2019. The investment management unit has $450 billion in assets under management.

The board named him president in July 2020.

That year, he oversaw the close of the acquisition of a large group life and group disability business from Cigna.

DeSanto has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He is a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the Academy of Actuaries, and a former member of the board of LL Global, the parent of LIMRA, LOMA and the Secure Retirement Institute.

He’s also the author of a popular ThinkAdvisor article, “Whole Life: The Swiss Army Knife of Financial Products.”

Pictured: Craig DeSanto (Photo: New York Life)