NEW YORK, N.Y., AUGUST 16, 2007 – New York Life Insurance Company today said its insurance financial strength (IFS) rating was upgraded to AAA by Standard & Poor’s – the highest rating S&P assigns. New York Life’s principal subsidiary, New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation, was also upgraded to AAA.
Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life, said, “It speaks volumes about the quality of New York Life to be upgraded in this volatile environment, where the stock and bond markets are being rocked by the fall-out from the sub-prime mortgage market. In awarding the triple-A, S&P specifically cited our extremely strong capital position, very strong and stable earnings, and industry leadership position in life insurance and annuities. The upgrade also validates our mutual form of ownership – which means that our first priority is to provide security and peace of mind for millions of customers. Increasingly we see mutuality as a key differentiator in our business and we appreciate that S&P recognizes the value of this form of ownership.”
New York Life now holds the highest possible rating from all four major rating agencies, a distinction held by only two other life insurers.
“In its press release today, S&P said, “the upgrade reflects the company’s extremely strong competitive position and capitalization, very strong and stable earnings and appropriate enterprise risk management. Capital has always been a strength for New York Life as it maintains a conservative balance sheet and as a mutual company is not faced with the pressure of public shareholders to deploy excess capital. Notwithstanding continued growth in policyholder dividends, statutory capital (including Asset Valuation Reserve) grew by about 8% in 2006, to $13.9 billion.”
S&P went on to cite New York Life’s “leading position in individual life insurance and annuities sold through a highly productive agent force, as well as through third party distribution.” The agency also credited the company’s management, saying, “New York Life’s management team manages for long-term stability and strength, with a commitment to mutuality and the customer. The company has shown consistent commitment to its career agency distribution, with its participating whole life product at its core.”
“In addition to mutuality, S&P’s decision underscores the success of our strategies to stay focused on life insurance, support our career agency system and maintain our financial strength,” Sternberg said.
As of June 30, 2007, New York Life’s surplus and asset valuation reserve grew to $14.7 billion. The company also previously reported record operating earnings of $1.1 billion in 2006, an increase of 17% over the prior year, and record operating revenue of $12.3 billion, an 11% increase over the prior year. New York Life also set new company records in 2006 for total insurance sales ($2.85 billion), total investment sales ($34.9 billion) and assets under management (more than $264 billion at year-end 2006).
New York Life’s financial strength/claims paying ability ratings from other rating agencies include: Moody’s (Aaa), Fitch (AAA) and A.M. Best (A++).
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. 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 Investment Management LLC provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.
Please visit New York Life’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.
Rating: 4.2/5 (6 votes cast)
|S&P Upgrades New York Life’s Ratings To AAA, The Agency’s Highest|