OUR PEOPLE

A Day in a New York Life: the Foundational Business' Stacey Simbal.

New York Life | June 18, 2024

The Day in a New York Life article series offers a look into the daily lives of employees: what they do, their career paths, what they find most interesting about their jobs, and how they spend their time outside of the office.

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Stacey Simbal is part of the Compliance & Risk Oversight team in Foundational Business Operations & Shared Services, which handles regulatory compliance and implementation, market conduct exams and data calls (FINRA, SEC, etc.), and compliance reporting. Simbal works closely with Corporate Compliance, Office of Governmental Affairs (OGA), Office of the General Counsel (OGC), and Technology as part of her work supporting the value streams.

When Simbal joined New York Life in 2011, she had recently graduated from college with a degree in Marketing. “I saw myself landing a glitzy, glamourous sales job, but as I interviewed for those kinds of roles, I realized it wasn’t where I wanted to be,” she says.

Then she interviewed with New York Life for a role in the Claims department and everything aligned. “I didn’t know much about the insurance industry, but I knew the company was excellent, and everyone I interviewed with had been here for years. I also saw that the company was large enough that I could do anything, including pivot back to marketing eventually,” she says.

Simbal started out processing claims and taking calls from beneficiaries. She eventually began leading a team and then she began handling regulatory components for claims. A chance meeting led to her current role. “We had a flood in the office, and I went in to help. My current boss, Regina Wan, was also there due to her role with business continuity for the office, and that’s how we met,” Simbal says. When Wan was hiring for her team, Simbal interviewed since she had some experience with the work Regina’s team was doing and landed the role.

In her current role, Simbal leads a three-person team focused on four pillars:

  • External examinations: They handle examinations from regulatory bodies (e.g., any state’s Department of Insurance, FINRA, or the SEC) that fall into the Service Experience, the Purchase Experience, and Field Operations Value Streams. “We work with the business to compile, review, and validate data and documentation requested by the examiners before partnering with the Office of General Counsel to submit responses to the regulatory body. These efforts ensure that we are providing accurate information to help the enterprise reduce risks and proactively deal with issues that may surface,” says Simbal.
  • Regulatory reviews: When states issue legislative bulletins, the team reviews each bulletin to determine any impacts to the value streams. They track, monitor and oversee the implementation of any regulatory bulletins in partnership with OGA to ensure cohesive implementation across the enterprise.
  • Issues tracking: When issues are self-identified or flagged during an examination, the team tracks and serves as a liaison to ensure remediation and further compliance of all issues. This ensures that down the line we are operating in a proactive environment, allowing the team and its business partners to be aware of any regulatory or compliance gaps prior to an examination.
  • Compliance reports: The team creates daily, weekly, and monthly compliance reports that allow the company to flag any compliance issues in real time. This enabled the team to eliminate compliance violations, as well as provide  business partners with trending information on processing errors and training opportunities.  

Simbal also drives strategic initiatives. “This year, we’re working on a new platform for tracking regulatory issues and revamping reporting to develop a more cohesive product that encompasses not just what my team does, but work across the Foundational Business,” she says. 

For Simbal, the best thing about her job is that she can see the impact and benefits of the work she and the team does. “Exams often ask for hundreds of pieces of information. It’s like putting together a puzzle using our knowledge, information from our business partners, our intel from work on previous exams, reporting and issues tracking, and regulatory reviews to deliver a finished product that does more than just answer what was asked. We want to tell a complete and compelling story that demonstrates the strongest position and puts the company in the best light,” she says.

Simbal is especially grateful to a mentor she met early in her career. “I’d been in Claims for a few years when I met someone who gave me very candid yet supportive feedback. It helped me learn how to take constructive feedback and how to lead people. She always has my back and she’s a great sounding board,” says Simbal.

The best piece of career advice she ever got is, “Always be your authentic self, but be cognizant of other people’s personality types. For example, I tend to be extroverted, and I had to learn to sometimes step back and take a listening role, because other people might be more introverted,” says Simbal.

Something people don’t know about Simbal is she teaches spin classes. “I’ve been teaching spin for almost 10 years, but, ironically, I can’t ride a real bike. If the bike is nailed to the ground, great. Otherwise, it’s a no-go,” she jokes.

When she’s not in the office, Simbal enjoys working out and taking care of Sassy, her four-month-old Dachshund.

A typical day in the life of Stacey Simbal:

6:00 am:

I walk my puppy, Sassy, and on mornings when I teach spin, I go to the gym from 7:00 to 7:45. 

9:00 am:

At work, I grab a coffee and do an informal check-in with my boss. Then I touch base with my team to talk about any open issues or exams that are happening. 

10:00 am:

I spend the rest of the morning in regulatory meetings (e.g., meeting with OGC or OGA) and doing work to advance my strategic initiatives.

1:00 pm:

I like to bring my lunch and eat outside if it’s nice, and maybe take a short walk. 

1:30 pm:

The afternoon is all about issues. There are meetings with my team and the business partners who own the issues for intakes (deep-dives and Q&As) to get the information we need. We have more than 100 issues open right now, so there could be between two and four meetings a day about issues.

3:30 pm:

I like to check in individually with my team members.

4:30 pm:

I spend the last part of the day strategizing for the next day and finishing up emails.

6:00 pm:

After work, I like to walk Sassy along the East River pathway, then we both eat dinner and I read or watch TV. And of course, I snuggle with Sassy. 

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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937
Kevin_B_Maher@newyorklife.com