NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New York Life announced today that Vice Chairman John Y. Kim, 54, has been elected president of America’s largest mutual life insurance company, effective immediately. The president’s role has been held by Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas, 48, who was elected to the position of president in 2007. Mr. Kim continues reporting to Mr. Mathas, who remains chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
Mr. Kim retains the role of chief investment officer of New York Life, as well as overall responsibility for the Investments Group and enterprise-wide technology. With his promotion to president, the company’s largest business unit, the Insurance & Agency Group, has been added to his current responsibilities.
Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO of New York Life, said, “By any measure, John Kim has done a remarkable job since joining the company in 2008 to run our investments subsidiary. Since that time, our assets under management have more than doubled to $540 billion, and third party assets under management have tripled. This result has been driven by strong organic growth. More recently, John has expanded our asset management business to Europe and Australia, and established a strategic relationship in Asia, gathering another $100 billion in AUM. Profitability of the Group has also advanced sharply under John’s leadership, profits that are contributing to the company’s financial strength and to the dividends we pay our policyowners. In 2011, we asked John to take on another key role, as our chief investment officer, where he has excelled in guiding one of the highest quality general account portfolios in the industry in the face of a weak economy and stubbornly low interest rates. In recognition of his outstanding performance in building our national and international asset management business, the stewardship he has provided as chief investment officer, and his many contributions as a member of our Executive Management Committee, I’ve asked John to now also run our largest business group, the Insurance & Agency Group. With his broad and deep experience and judgment, the Board and I know John will continue making high-impact contributions overseeing all of our business operations in his new role as president of the company.”
Mr. Mathas also announced that Chris Blunt, 53, will return to Investments to run the Group as its president, reporting to Mr. Kim. Mr. Blunt joined the company in 2004 as head of New York Life Investments’ Retail Investments strategy, where he was successful in growing Investments’ sales of mutual funds through all of its distribution partners. Mr. Blunt most recently headed the Insurance & Agency Group with co-president Mark Pfaff. Mr. Pfaff will continue to run the Agency operations, reporting to Mr. Kim, who now has overall responsibility for the Insurance & Agency Group. Mr. Pfaff plans to retire at year-end after 30 years of distinguished service.
Mr. Mathas said, “Chris Blunt has held key leadership roles in the company, from investments to life insurance to annuities, as well as long term care insurance, and at every step he has added significant value, adding consumer solutions and growing our business, and developing our people. He has been instrumental in establishing third party distribution as a strong complement to our career agency system, as well as making New York Life a leader in retirement income, where today our guaranteed lifetime income annuities hold the number one market share position by far. In his new role as president of Investments, I know Chris will continue to make meaningful contributions, just as he has since joining us more than a decade ago.”
Commenting further, Mr. Mathas said, “The growth of our Investments business is both an executive leadership story and a strategic success story. But it is also a policyowner value story. When our Board met in November, they approved, for the third consecutive year, a significant increase in the dividends we pay to participating policyowners—an increase that would not have been possible without the significant contributions that the Investments Group made to the company’s surplus in recent years. In fact, dividends have increased 31 percent to individual life policyowners since 2012. With such an experienced and knowledgeable team in place, we’re confident that Investments will continue to be a strong and reliable source of earnings going forward, which benefits all of the members of our mutual company, whether it be directly through dividends or more generally through our growing financial strength, safety and soundness.”
Mr. Kim joined New York Life in 2008 after a 25-year record as a highly successful business executive with deep knowledge of investment management and strong operational skills running numerous businesses. Prior to joining New York Life, he had been president of Prudential Retirement, where he led its defined benefit, defined contribution and guaranteed products businesses, and before that he was president of CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services. He also spent 17 years with Aetna Life & Casualty, where he rose to the position of CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Aeltus Investment Management as well as CIO of Aetna Life Insurance and Annuity Company.
Mr. Kim earned his Bachelor in Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and holds an MBA degree from the University of Connecticut.
Prior to joining New York Life in 2004, Mr. Blunt was chairman and chief executive officer of GivingCapital, Inc., a wealth management solutions provider serving the financial institutions marketplace, and before that, spent 14 years in a variety of senior marketing and distribution roles in the investment management industry. Mr. Blunt was the chief marketing officer – Americas, for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, and president of Mercury Funds Distributors. Before working with Merrill Lynch, he was a managing director with Goldman Sachs & Co., and the national sales manager for Goldman Sachs Funds.
Mr. Blunt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA degree from The Wharton School.
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).** Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. New York Life Investments*** provides institutional asset management. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as retail mutual funds. Please visit New York Life’s website at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
*Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/16/14. For methodology, please see http://fortune.com/fortune500/.
**Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 3/26/15.
***New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.