CLO Learning Elite

New York Life Insurance

Michael Molinaro, who became the company’s chief learning officer in July 2009, said the economic collapse reaffirmed the importance of being part of an organization that is not only transparent, but has values that are in line with his own. “The financial industry as a whole had, somewhat justifiably, gotten a bad rap since the market collapse and mortgage crisis of the late 2000s,” he said. “In joining New York Life, I wanted to be part of a company in the financial services industry that not only had nothing to hide, but is forward-looking. New York Life is about doing the right thing for our policyholders, for our employees, for the markets and for the industry we’re in.”

Renewed Emphasis on Leadership
Molinaro credits part of New York Life’s success to its legacy. The company has roots as far back as 1845, and remains one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States and the world.

However, Molinaro said the company’s long-tenured workforce meant that over time, the organization hadn’t done a good job developing the next level below its senior management. He said before he arrived, nearly half of the executive officers were nearing retirement, and the pipeline wasn’t ready to replace them. He was brought on board to reorganize the leadership pipeline, and made this his first priority.

“When I joined New York Life, we needed to assess the talent that we had and make decisions about what talent we needed to find externally, while developing the current employees inside the organization and then devising a plan to help its talent rapidly assume new positions,” Molinaro said.