New York Life names Michael McDonnell General Counsel.

New York Life | October 4, 2022

NEW YORK — New York Life, America's largest mutual life insurer1, today announced the appointment of Michael McDonnell as the company’s General Counsel, effective immediately. Mr. McDonnell will have day-to-day oversight of the Office of the General Counsel which includes the insurance and agency, investments, corporate practice, and tax teams. He will report to Sheila Davidson, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Administrative Officer.

Since 2021, Mr. McDonnell has held the position of Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Insurance Counsel, delivering legal guidance across New York Life’s Foundational and Strategic Insurance Businesses. In 2016, he became Vice President, Associate General Counsel. He joined New York Life in 2013 as Associate General Counsel for the Insurance & Agency group.

Previously, Mr. McDonnell was an Associate with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he worked for 10 years. Prior to that he was a Paralegal with the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He earned a B.A. from Bowdoin College and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

“We congratulate Mike on this well-earned appointment,” said Ms. Davidson. “During his time with the company, he has become an indispensable counselor and has earned the confidence and respect of senior leadership across the business, the entire legal team, and his peers in the industry. New York Life will continue to benefit from his sound judgment, expertise, and commitment to serving the company.”


New York Life Insurance Company (, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States1 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 has the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any U.S. life insurer from all four of the major credit rating agencies2.

1Based on revenue as reported by “Fortune 500 ranked within Industries, Insurance: Life, Health (Mutual),” Fortune magazine, 5/23/2022. For methodology, please see

2Individual independent rating agency commentary as of 6/22/2022: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa), Standard & Poor’s (AA+).

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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937

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