The last two years will go down in history as one of the most tumultuous times in living memory. Many of us hoped that 2021 would mark a return to normality. However, while challenges remained, there was also time for celebration and recognition.

In a time of uncertainty, communication is key. Here at New York Life, we stayed focused on reaching out to our customers with informative, relevant, and thought-provoking content that offers not only advice, but guidance and compassion.

Here are some of this year’s signature stories.

Our leadership

1. Standing together behind our democracy.

The start of 2021 saw the first breach of our Capitol building since the War of 1812. Read how New York Life’s Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas responded to the incident at Capitol Hill.

2. Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas speaks to The Wall Street Journal

New York Life’s Chairman and CEO Ted Mathas addressed the importance of recognizing and supporting diverse markets, and how New York Life has invested in the diversity of its field force and is supporting agents of color to serve their communities. Read the exclusive interview and hear Ted’s thoughts.

3. Craig DeSanto named CEO-elect of New York Life 

In November, the board of New York Life named Craig DeSanto, currently the company’s president, as CEO-elect, succeeding Ted Mathas upon his retirement in April 2022. Find out more about this exciting appointment.

4. Alex Cook talks about New York Life’s innovations.

Alex Cook, our Senior Vice President and Head of Strategic Capabilities, explored the ongoing journey involved in bringing together the best of technology and human guidance to support our mission to continually create new capabilities.

5. New York Life’s Chief Analytics Officer discusses successfully integrating data science into an organization.

For the last 15 years, Glenn Hofmann has developed data science teams for finance and insurance companies. Discover his tips for those looking to embark on a similar journey.

6. Natalie Lamarque outlines her approach to leadership and the importance of diversity with Bloomberg Law.

New York Life’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel Natalie Lamarque took part in The Black General Counsel Project by Bloomberg Law, which examines how Fortune 1000 companies approach leadership and strive to increase diversity. Read her thoughts.

Our achievements and recognition

1. New York Life recognized for award-winning customer satisfaction among group life insurance providers by J.D. Power

We were named as the highest group life insurance provider for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power U.S. Group Life Insurance Study. Find out why.

2. Yie-Hsin Hung, New York Life Investment Management CEO, named among Barron’s 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance for the second year.

Yie-Hsin Hung, Chief Executive Officer of New York Life Investment Management, made it onto Barron’s 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance list for a second time, and was also named among American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Finance list for the fifth consecutive year. Discover the keys to her success.

3. New York Life Investment Management's Melissa Kuan received an inaugural Asian Leaders Worth Watching™ Award.

Profiles in Diversity recognized our Chief Strategy Officer, Melissa Kuan, for her hard work as an Asian Leader Worth Watching. They also honored Jomil Guerrero in their list of Latino Leaders Worth Watching as well as Keith McClain for being a top Diversity Leader for 2021.  Natalie Shapiro was also honored by being included in their 2021 Women Worth Watching in STEM® list.

4. Dylan Huang recognized with Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award.

In another outstanding achievement for a New York Life employee, our Head of Retirement and Wealth Management Solutions, Dylan Huang, was recognized with an Outstanding Asian American in Business Award from the from the Asian American Business Development Center.

Find out more about all of the accolades we have received this year here.

Our community 

1. Taking action to support the Asian American community.

In early 2021, eight in ten Asian Americans said violence against them is rising.1 Read more about the all-important campaigning being done to counter this trend.
Standing behind our commitment to stop the spread of hatred, New York Life donated $200,000 to groups supporting civil rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

2. The struggle for LGBTQ+ equality…then and now.

We celebrated Pride Month by exploring our long and important history as an LGBTQ+ ally and by presenting a brief history of New York Life's loyalty to the movement, such as donations to the cause made as far back as the 80s, to our signing of the Amicus Brief supporting marriage equality. 

3. On the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York Life reiterates its stance against discrimination.

At New York Life, we are equal opportunity advocates. Learn how we took a proactive stance against acts of violence and discrimination against anyone or any group based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity this year. 

4. Partners in economic opportunity: Cirilo McSween and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We explored New York Life community’s connection to leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his work with Cirilo McSween, New York Life’s pioneering first Black agent.

5. Chief Technology Security Officer Reshma Budhwani offers inspiration to Girls Who Code community

As an organization committed to closing the gender gap in technology, we were thrilled that Girls Who Code – an international non-profit organization and a leader in the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities – highlighted the insights of New York Life’s Vice President and Chief Technology Security Officer Reshma Budhwani.

Our people

1. A Day in a New York Life

At New York Life, we’re continually grateful for the employees who give their time and expertise to our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Discover more about these individuals in our series, “A Day in a New York Life”, which explores the daily lives of these dedicated individuals.

2. All for one

As an organization, we pride ourselves in supporting each and every one of our employees, as well as wider communities and society as a whole. This year, we virtually hosted our 28th Take our Daughters to Work Day event. ENABLE, which focused on raising awareness of disability issues and supporting an inclusive environment for people of all abilities, also celebrated its tenth anniversary as an Employee Resource Group (ERG) at New York Life. Earlier this year, we also hosted a series of events in celebration of Veterans Day.

3. Meet the women who shaped New York Life.

We celebrated the remarkable females who have shaped New York Life’s past – from Winifred Supple, our first female employee, to Mildred McAfee Horton, the first woman to join our board of directors.

4. New York Life’s “Toy House of Marvelous Milestones” float appeared in  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® for third consecutive year.

The 95th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place on November 25th and featured the New York Life “Toy House of Marvelous Milestones” float. This year’s performers were the classic rock legends Foreigner. Read more about the float’s meaningful messages and imagery.

5. Martin King shares his journey, passion, advice, and perspectives as he reflects on his career

We shared the story of one of our esteemed employees – Martin King, head of the Investment Grade Credit Team, and head of Impact Investments – who spoke to us about his career journey to date, New York Life’s values, and the importance of loving what you do.

Our impact

1. Inaugural “State of Grief” report looks at the state of grief support at home, in school, and at work.

The New York Life Foundation is one of the largest corporate funders of bereavement support. This year, it released its first ever “State of Grief” report, which features new research exploring COVID-19’s impact, parents’ views on bereavement support in schools, and insights on workplace bereavement policies. Discover more insights from the report.

2. New York Life launches $1 billion impact investment initiative to address racial wealth gap by investing in underserved and undercapitalized communities over next three years.

Earlier this year, we were thrilled to announce the launch of a number of impact investment initiatives that aim to address wealth inequalities. One initiative addresses the racial wealth gap, while the other supports the preservation of affordable housing rental properties throughout the United States

3. Can investing with your heart improve health equity?

We delved into a ground-breaking dual impact fund, IQ Healthy Hearts ETF (HART), which offers investors the opportunity to contribute to the fight against heart disease while looking to generate portfolio returns.

4. An update from Cathy Council on the CEO Action for Racial Equity fellowship.

New York Life’s Cathy Council gave us an update on the Racial Equity Fellowship, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and accelerating racial equity through public policy.

5. ARTHOUSE.NYC & the Brave of Heart Fund present: The Hero Art Project.

We celebrated the Brave of Heart fund, which was created by New York Life and Cigna to provide healthcare workers and their families with peace of mind. We also looked at The Art Hero Project, developed in collaboration with ARTHOUSE.NYC – an evocative art installation that displays portraits of healthcare workers who died fighting COVID-19.

Popular culture

1. Squid Game: Six financial lessons from Netflix's survival drama

Squid Game pulled in a staggering 1.65 billion hours of viewing in 28 days following its release in September.[2] We uncovered some real-life lessons from the show around protecting your finances.

2. How not to live like a Roy: Lessons from HBO's hit show Succession about estate planning.

We looked at the warped behavior of Succession’s Logan Roy, the hit TV show’s patriarch, to learn what not to do when it comes to passing on both businesses and wealth.

3. Monopoly may be removing its life insurance card, but we aren’t. Here’s why.

For the first time in its history, Monopoly decided to make changes to its Community Chest Cards, removing the beauty contests and life insurance options.[3] We looked at why life insurance is more important today than it has ever been.

4. Becoming an Olympian: Lessons from Olympic athletes.

From planning to resilience, we took a look at the psychological strategies elite athletes use to make it to the top and stay there, and explored how these strategies are applicable to scenarios you might encounter every day, whether in business or in your personal life.

5. Tomorrow’s world: What the world of work might look like 20 years from now.

Change is afoot in the workplace. Firms’ appetites for embracing it will likely have been fueled by the pandemic. Take a look back at our thoughts on the question on many people’s lips – what will workplaces look like decades down the line?

2021 trends

1. New data from New York Life reveals Americans have boosted confidence in short-term financial goals one year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York Life “Wealth Watch” research report concluded that Americans are feeling more confident than ever in reaching their short-term financial goals, including their savings and the ability to pay their bills month-to-month. Read the full New York Life Wealth Watch report here: Nearly one in three millennials build $4,200 nest eggs during pandemic. See more New York Life Research here.

2. From locking down to lawyering up: COVID-19 and the later life divorce trend.

While the U.S. divorce rate may be at a 50-year low, it’s now much more common among those who are 55 and older.4 These are known as Gray Divorces.
 We took a closer look into this trend to find out more about some of the considerations when embarking on separation at this stage in life.

3. Generation early retirement: Transitioning from saver to spender.

However you choose to do it, moving into retirement requires a host of adjustments. We explored the options for phasing into retirement, including one of the biggest mental shifts that people have to make – moving from a saving to spending mentality.

4. Reducing future health costs through positive behavior.

 In the US alone, half of patients with long-term conditions don’t stick to their medications. We looked at how Wellth – a digital health company invested in by New York Life Ventures – is tackling this, using a behavioral economics concept combined with an appreciation for human nature. Find out more about how this technology can help you develop better habits.

While the last year may not have been what we had hoped it would be, we all learned a great deal about our own resilience. At New York Life, after 176 years, we’ve weathered many storms, safe in the knowledge that we have the strength and the stability to keep supporting our customers when they need us most.

Here’s to a bright and bold 2022, and beyond.







Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.

Media contact
Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-6955

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