New York Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company
Type Mutual
Industry Insurance: Life & Annuity
Founded 1845
Headquarters New York, New York, USA
Key people Ted Mathas, CEO
Revenue increase$34,947.2 Million[1] USD (2010)
Net income increase$1,091.5 Million[1] USD (2010)
Employees 12,650 (2005)
Website www.newyorklife.com

The New York Life Insurance Company (NYLIC) is one of the largest mutual life-insurance companies in the United States, and one of the largest life insurers in the world, with about $287 billion in total assets under management, and more than $15 billion in surplus and AVR.[2] The company ranks #71 on the 2011 Fortune 100 list, making it the highest privately held insurance company on that list.[3] In 2007, NYLIC achieved the best possible ratings by the four independent rating companies (Standard & Poor's, AM Best, Moody's and Fitch). In June 2009, the same four rating companies reaffirmed New York Life's "superior" financial strength, which became a selling point in national TV ad campaigns that same year. The company is now one of only three life insurers to hold the highest ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four rating agencies (Moody's: Aaa, A.M. Best: A++. Standards & Poor's: AA+, Fitch: AAA. All of these are for financial strength. Source: Individual Third Party Ratings Reports (as of 8/8/11).). Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.

Contents

History

The company was founded in 1845 as the Nautilus Insurance Company in New York City, with assets of just $17,000. It was renamed the New York Life Insurance Company in 1849. Its first headquarters were at 112-114 Broadway; the first president was James DePeyster Ogden. The current New York Life headquarters was designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1928. The New York Life building, at 51 Madison Avenue, was constructed during the presidency of Darwin P. Kingsley. He expanded the company’s operations and developed new types of insurance. As with other early insurance companies in the U.S., in its early years the company insured the lives of slaves for their owners. In response to bills passed in California in 2001 and in Illinois in 2003, the company reported that Nautilus sold 485 slaveholder life insurance policies during a two-year period in the 1840s; they added that their trustees voted to end the sale of such policies 15 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.[4]

The company became known for innovative business practices. In 1860, well before state laws required it, New York Life developed the non-forfeiture option, the predecessor to the guaranteed cash values of modern policies, under which a policy remains in force even if a premium payment is missed. It was also the first American life insurance company to pay a cash dividend to policyholders, and the first U.S. company to issue policies to women at the same rates as men. Susan B. Anthony was one of their first female policy holders, and her father worked for NYLIC.[5] In 1896, New York Life became the first company to insure people with disabilities and the first to issue a policy with a disability benefit that presumes total disability to be permanent after a predetermined period.

In the late 1990s New York Life was one of several large mutual life insurers to back a bill that would allow demutualization into a structure known as a mutual holding company (MHC). CEO Sy Sternberg himself argued strongly in favor of the bill,[6] which was ultimately defeated. The NYLIC board of directors subsequently reversed course, with the company strongly and publicly embracing their mutual nature in a series of advertisements.

Financial crisis of early 21st Century

According to their Report to Policyholders 2007, in early 2007 the company's managers became concerned about the state of credit markets, so in February 2007 "based on our belief that the markets were acting irrationally" New York Life decided to move much of its cash flow into safer investments such as US Treasury bonds. "By August 2007, the credit market problems we had feared were front page news," the Report notes.

In November 2008, the company announced it will not participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program. "The company can meet all of its strategic objectives without government capital, its businesses are strong and profitable, and it is committed to remaining a mutual company operating for the sole benefit of its policyholders," states a company press release.[7]

Theodore "Ted" Mathas, president and CEO in 2008, said at the time of the financial crisis that New York Life is "built for times like these." This phrase became the title for the 2008 report to policyholders. Ted Mathas becomes the company chairman on June 1, 2009.[8]

New York Life maintains "superior" financial ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Moody's and Standard and Poor's, all of which have reaffirmed the ratings during the financial crisis of autumn 2008.[9]

Business scope

Both NYL (its primary American insurance subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation) are licensed to do business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.[10][11] The company also sells annuities and long-term care insurance; mutual funds through its subsidiary NYLIFE Securities, a registered broker-dealer; and provides institutional asset-management and retirement-plan services from subsidiary New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM).[12][13]

NY Life Building, Kansas City.

International Operations

Operation in Mexico, India, & Taiwan.[14]

New York Life Insurance buildings

The New York Life Insurance Company has commissioned a number of buildings under the name "New York Life Insurance Building."

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b CNNMoney.com. "New York Life Insurance - Fortune 500 2011 - CNNMoney". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/snapshots/2350.html. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "New York Life Reports 2009 Financial Results". New York Life Insurance Company. http://www.newyorklife.com/nyl/v/index.jsp?contentId=124895&vgnextoid=340fc7583ecf7210VgnVCM100000ac841cacRCRD. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  3. ^ CNNMoney.com (2009-05-04). "New York Life Insurance - Fortune 500 2010 - CNNMoney". Cable News Network LP, LLLP. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2010/snapshots/2350.html. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  4. ^ "Slavery Era Policies Report August 2004". Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. http://www.idfpr.com/doi/Consumer/SlaveryInformation/SlaverySummaryReport.asp. 
  5. ^ Blake McKelvey. "Susan B. Anthony" (pdf). Rochester History. http://www.rochester.edu/SBA/PDFs/SBA%20Bio%20-%201945.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  6. ^ Alexander B. Grannis, Chairman; et al. "The Feeling’s Not Mutual". New York State Assembly. http://assembly.state.ny.us/Reports/Ins/199803/insureport.html#t12. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  7. ^ "New York Life Will Not Participate In Treasury Capital Program". New York Life Insurance Company. http://www.newyorklife.com/cda/0,3254,17410,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Ted Mathas Becomes Chairman of the Board of New York Life on June 1". New York Life Insurance Company. http://www.newyorklife.com/cda/0,3254,17899,00.html. Retrieved June 19, 2009. 
  9. ^ "What the Rating Agencies Say". New York Life Insurance Company. http://www.newyorklife.com/cda/0,3254,8668,00.html. Retrieved 2009. 
  10. ^ "Consumer Information for NYLIC (2005)". NAIC. http://www.naic.org/cis/writingReport.do?entityId=7249. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  11. ^ "Consumer Information for NYLIAC (2005)". NAIC. http://www.naic.org/cis/writingReport.do?entityId=9657. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  12. ^ "Assets Under Management". New York Life Investment Management LLC. http://www.nylim.com/nylim/0,2058,12_1002694,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  13. ^ "About NYLIM Retirement Plan Services". New York Life Investment Management LLC. http://www.nylim.com/retirement/0,2058,30_1002465,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  14. ^ http://www.newyorklife.com/nyl/v/index.jsp?contentId=10580&vgnextoid=8e10a2b3019d2210a2b3019d221024301cacRCRD

External links


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