Case Study – New York Life

case study -New York life

Healthy Companies Partners with New York Life in Strengthening its Culture and Leadership Capabilties

The Challenge

New York Life Insurance Company is the third-largest life insurance company in the United States, the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and is ranked #67 on the 2021 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. 2021 Operating Earnings totaled  $2.3 billion with $759 billion in assets under management.

Our relationship began in 2008 when Ted Mathas, CEO, invited us to partner with him and other key executives to assess the company’s culture and develop and help execute a change agenda to refresh the company’s 160 year old culture and position the company for sustained business success.

Key challenges included:

  1. A changing business environment including increasing market volatility, changing demographics and increasing competition
  2. A changing business strategy focused on developing a broader portfolio of life, annuity and investment products
  3. Retirements of key executives and the assurance of a smooth transition to leaders entering the executive ranks
  4. A changing corporate culture moving from strong risk aversion to prudent risk taking to enable a more agile organization achieving higher levels of business performance and employee engagement

The Solution

CEO Mathas and his executive team engaged us to:

  • Review New York Life’s current and future business strategy, operating models, behaviors, and cultural attributes
  • Conduct face-to-face interviews with the top 13 executive members
  • Conduct a series of focus groups to obtain the input and perspective of leaders and employees from all levels of the organization
  • Administer a culture assessment across the organization
  • Create a Findings & Recommendations Report
  • Design and facilitate a half-day executive briefing of findings, implications and next steps
  • Develop a Change Strategy for moving forward

After completing this Phase I scope of work, the company engaged us in (1) assisting the change culture steering team, (2) coaching CEO Mathas and a group of other executives, (3) working with multiple executive teams, and (4) working with the head of Agency and his team to assess and develop a culture change strategy for his organization, before working with multiple executive teams


The company has continued to grow over the fifteen years we have been in partnership.

  • Revenues have continued to rise through the 2008 financial crisis with the company being heralded as one of the “safest” companies in the country
  • The company has expanded its footprint in the market with a broader selection of competitive product solutions
  • Engagement and performance have remained high moving through the pandemic
  • The company has successfully moved through multiple leadership transitions including handing the reigns of CEO from Mathas to Craig de Santo in April of 2022

We are currently involved in Phase I of a large “Agency of the Future” transformation project that includes interviewing 20 Managing Partners, assessing the group’s change leadership capabilities, and development of Change Leader Guides and related resources to assist them and their colleagues in becoming more successful change leaders in executing their business strategy.