Mark Madgett to head New York Life's Agency Department and the Company's 12,000 career agents following the retirement of Mark Pfaff at year end.

Mark Pfaff to Retire Following an Illustrious 30 Year Career in Agency, the Last Decade as its Leader; Under his Leadership the Company Saw Agency Life Insurance Sales Grow Each Year in a Flat Market, While the Field Force Under Pfaff Expanded by 42 Percent Since 2005, Both Remarkable Accomplishments.


NEW YORK, June 25, 2015 - —New York Life announced today that Senior Vice President Mark Madgett will succeed Executive Vice President Mark Pfaff as head of the Agency Department, which manages the company’s field force of 12,000 career agents in cities and towns across the country. Mr. Pfaff, 57, plans to retire from the company at year-end 2015 following 30 years of distinguished service as an agent, field manager and Home Office executive.

Mr. Madgett, 54, joined New York Life as an agent in Colorado in 1986. He moved into sales management in Denver in 1992, rising in the ranks to managing partner of New York Life general offices in the state of Washington beginning in 1998. Mr. Madgett moved to the company’s Home Office in Manhattan in September 2014, where he has been working closely with Mr. Pfaff in managing the Agency Department. He will continue in that capacity until Mr. Pfaff’s retirement at year-end, when he will assume the leadership of the Agency Department and begin reporting to New York Life President John Kim.

Ted Mathas, chairman and CEO of New York Life said, “New York Life has a deep bench of executive talent and experience that has enabled us to remain at the front of our industry in providing policyowners and customers with the solutions and service they need for the protection of their families and businesses, and for delivering on their long term goals. Mark Pfaff has had a tremendous career with New York Life, as an agent, as a manager in the field, and as a Home Office executive. Throughout his career, Mark has drawn on his background as a teacher and coach to develop those around him and share his experience and judgment. I feel extremely fortunate to have had Mark’s competitive intensity and personal integrity guiding the daily activities of our career agents during my first seven years as CEO. When Mark retires at the end of the year, we will have one of Mark’s protégés, Mark Madgett, stepping in to lead our Agency and our 12,000 licensed agents across the country. Mark is a New York Life veteran who also began as an agent and became one of our top field managers. For the past year he has been here in the Home Office working closely with Mark Pfaff. and making excellent contributions. We look forward to many more contributions from Mark Madgett in the years ahead.”

Mr. Madgett received a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Saint Mary’'s College of California in 1983. In 1986, he joined New York Life as an agent in the greater Denver area; became a sales manager there in 1992; and a senior partner, the number two manager in the general office, in 1995. Beginning in 1998, and for the next 16 years, he served as the managing partner— and chief executive of the general office —in the Greater Seattle general office. Over the years he has won numerous company awards for his management skill. Mr. Madgett joined the Home Office of New York Life as a senior vice president in September 2014.

Mark Pfaff joined New York Life as an agent in New Jersey in 1985 and entered sales management in 1988. Mr. Pfaff advanced in the management ranks to lead the general offices in Vermont and New York City between 1994 and 2004. He was promoted to senior vice president of the Agency'’s Northeast Zone in 2004 and joined the Home Office in 2006 as senior vice president in charge of the Agency Department. He was appointed to the company’'s Executive Management Committee in 2007, and was elected an executive vice president in 2009. Since 2012, Mr. Pfaff has served as co-president of the Insurance & Agency Group of New York Life.


Record Setting Performance in 2014.


New York Life is one of the few companies committed to a career agency system, and in 2014, that commitment helped the company’'s life insurance sales reach a new high of $1.2 billion. In fact, Agency has notched 18 consecutive years of increasing life sales, including through the financial crisis of 2008-09. The company hired 3,680 full-time agents last year, continuing its strong trend of hiring in recent years. In 2014, 52 percent of New York Life’s new hires in the field were individuals who represent the cultural markets, keeping pace with changes in America’s demographics.


Most Professional Career Agency in the Nation.


New York Life has dominated the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in the United States for 60 consecutive years, with 2,376 qualifying New York Life agents in 2014. MDRT granted membership to only 10,211 agents in the entire United States, making membership in this organization a distinguishing life insurance career milestone for those demonstrating superior professional knowledge, experience and client service.

Of the 1,179 female MDRT members in the United States, 32 percent are New York Life agents, —making the company the leader in female MDRT membership. In fact, New York Life has more than four times as many women members as the second-place company.

New York Life has also been the leader of MDRT’'s two top-tier categories, since their creation in 1998, with 333 qualifying agents for “Court of the Table” and 119 qualifying agents for “Top of the Table.” These elite groups recognize the highest producing agents in the industry and have 2,360 U.S. members and 1,170 U.S. members respectively.

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 and retirement plan services. 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.

Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 42,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 470 companies in 71 countries. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.

Talk it through with an expert.

We're here to help.

get started
Further Reading
  • Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 6/15/15. For methodology, 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.