New York Life to Cut 200 Jobs as CEO Reshapes Management

New York Life Insurance Co., the biggest U.S. life insurer owned by policyholders, plans to eliminate about 200 jobs nationwide as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ted Mathas reshapes management.

“With any re-org you try to leverage efficiencies and there will be some adjustments to staffing needs,” William Werfelman, a spokesman for the New York-based insurer, said today in an e-mailed statement. “The number of affected positions is very small relative to our base of more than 9,000 positions in the United States today.”

Mathas, 44, named John Kim to run the newly created investments group in January, giving him oversight of the company’s retail mutual funds and annuities, and institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Chris Blunt was selected to head the company’s insurance group, which manages U.S. life and long-term care products.

Life insurers, which buy bonds to back obligations to policyholders, have been under pressure as yields fell to near record lows. MetLife Inc., the biggest U.S. life insurer, reported a 4.74 percent net investment income yield on its $494 billion portfolio in the fourth quarter, down from 5.21 percent a year earlier. New York Life hasn’t reported results for 2011.

The positions will be eliminated across business lines, Werfelman said.

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