US mutual life insurer New York Life has appointed current president Craig DeSanto as its next chief executive officer (CEO).
DeSanto will succeed Ted Mathas, who is retiring having served as CEO for nearly 14 years, from 15 April. Mathas will remain chairman of the board in a non-executive capacity for a transition period.
DeSanto has served as New York Life’s president since July 2020 and as a member of its board of directors since February 2021. He will retain the title of president upon assuming the CEO role.
He first joined the insurer as an actuarial summer intern in 1997 and was promoted into roles of increasing responsibility across the company’s finance and business operations departments.
In 2018, DeSanto assumed oversight for New York Life’s retail annuity business line and a year later added oversight of its $450bn third-party asset management business.
In 2020, he led efforts to successfully close the acquisition of Cigna’s Group Life and Disability business, now known as New York Life Group Benefit Solutions – the largest acquisition in New York Life’s history.
Commenting on DeSanto’s appointment, Mathas said: “Craig is a proven leader with the knowledge and experience to further New York Life’s tradition of delivering on our commitments to policy owners and clients, agents and employees, and the communities where we work and live.
“In a career that spans more than two decades with our company, he has held leadership roles and produced outstanding results in virtually every line of business.”
Michele Buck, president and CEO of The Hershey Company and lead director of New York Life’s board, added: “In the board’s unanimous view, Craig’s breadth of experience at New York Life, his strength as a recognised senior leader, and his understanding of the industry make him the right individual to take on this role and help author the next chapters in New York Life’s long and successful history.”
DeSanto said he was honoured to be taking over from Mathas.
“Having built my entire career at New York Life, I have a deep appreciation for our 176-year history of providing financial security and peace of mind to our policy owners and clients.”