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New York Life Rolls Out Company Reorganization

A northeastern-based mutual insurer has unveiled a restructuring of its operations.

New York Life Insurance Co., New York, announced today a reorganization of the company into two business units: the Insurance Group and the Investments Group.  The company has named, respectively, Executive Vice President Chris Blunt and Executive Vice President John Kimto run the two businesses, which provide protection, wealth accumulation, and guaranteed income products and solutions.

The company says that Blunt previously headed the company’s Retirement Income Security (RIS) business, which is now joining Kim's portfolio as part of the new Investments Group.  In addition to his responsibility for U.S. life insurance, Blunt will be responsible for the company’s long-term care insurance business and the marketing, finance, technology, and service functions that support those product lines. 

Kim, who is the company’s chief investment officer and head of New York Life Investments, will assume additional responsibility for RIS products and solutions, which the company says is being combined with New York Life Investments. 

That company adds that Executive Vice President Mark Pfaff, who has run the Agency Department since 2006 and had additional responsibility for life insurance since 2008, will continue to run the company’s agency force of 12,000 career agents. 

New York Life Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas says in a prepared statement that the alignment streamlines the business groups “for improved coordination and efficiency.” A spokesperson adds the reorganization aim to sharpen the company’s “strategic focus,” create a less “hierarchical structure,” and “empower future leaders by widening spans of control.”

The newly created Insurance Group also includes the supplemental distribution channels for the U.S. life business: the direct response business in Tampa, FL, which is the leading direct marketer of life insurance in the U.S. through an endorsed program with AARP geared to its membership; and the Group Membership Association business, which is the largest underwriter of professional association insurance programs in the U.S., covering members of more than 500 associations across the country. 

Because of their closeness to the core U.S. life business, both geographically and strategically, New York Life is incorporating its operations in Mexico into the Insurance Group.

Mathas added the alignment of former RIS businesses under Mr. Kim is designed to take further advantage of the fast-growing retirement area in which consumers first accumulate funds for retirement and later convert a portion of those funds for guaranteed lifetime income in retirement. 

As head of the Investments Group, Kim will have institutional and retail products and solutions under his leadership, including retail mutual funds and annuities, and institutional asset management and retirement plan services.  The marketing, finance, technology, distribution and service functions that support those product lines are also part of the Investments Group.

The company says that, on a consolidated basis, sales of the new Insurance Group operations were approximately $3.3 billion in 2011. Consolidated sales of the new Investments Group totaled more than $50 billion and assets under management were approximately $300 billion in 2011. 

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