A message from Craig DeSanto, CEO & President of New York Life:
While no one expected the traumatic health and financial consequences brought on by COVID-19, New York Life was well prepared, consistent with our long legacy of managing our company through all types of conditions. We have navigated through some of the toughest times in history, including the U.S. Civil War, the influenza pandemic of 1918, two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Financial Crisis of 2008-’09.
Each year, we stress-test the company under a variety of challenging scenarios to ensure we are positioned to meet our obligations and safeguard our policy owners, employees, and agents. This planning has served our many stakeholders well for more than 177 years and will continue to do so in the future. As you’ll read in the stories about how we steered through the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Life’s preparedness and financial strength meant we didn’t have to worry about our ability to meet our obligations, and instead, we could focus on our people.
Our long-term orientation and fortress balance sheet enabled us to remain laser focused on our clients’ needs and help the millions of people who count on us for financial security when they needed us. For example, for our clients, we offered premium-payment flexibility so they could retain their coverage when they needed it most; for our employees, we provided the resources they needed to work from home along with access to critical health and wellness support; and for our agents in the field, we provided the financial support and digital tools they needed to deliver on our mission despite being unable to see clients and prospects in person.
In addition to helping our New York Life family during the pandemic, we launched the Brave of Heart Fund with our partner Cigna in the spring of 2020 to help our communities. This nationwide program provided more than $31 million in financial support to the families of healthcare workers whose lives were lost to COVID-19. This is one of many examples of how New York Life provided leadership during the crisis.
I have been with New York Life since I was a summer intern 25 years ago, and in April 2022, I was honored to become the company’s 19th chief executive. When people ask me why I’ve stayed at New York Life for my entire career, the first thing I point to is the company’s culture and how the people of New York Life act with compassion, empathy, and generosity in all they do. It was inspiring to see this in action every day during the last two-plus years, and our entire team looks forward to being there when needed for our stakeholders for generations to come.
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