Tuesday, October 13

9:00-9:45 AM


Hot Coffee and Hot Issues  


The future of work is shifting more rapidly in life insurance as automation and digitization accelerate, carriers recover from COVID-19 shifts, and we all face a low interest rate future. What does the future of work look like in life insurance, and what will be the impact in the industry? How are cutting edge organizations planning for the future of work for their employees, and what can leaders do today to emerge even stronger from this time?



Kweilin Ellingrud, Senior Partner, Leader of the Life and Annuities Practice in North America, McKinsey & Company

Chandni Sachdeva, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

AM Best senior rating division analysts will provide their perspectives on the state of the life/annuity insurance industry. After a brief recap of 2020 highlighting results, innovation, products and major trends, the analysts will provide AM Best's unique perspective on expectations for 2020 and 2021, We will look at the impact on ratings for life/annuity carriers due to COVID-19 and AM Best's stress test. What changes do we expect regarding insurance asset management, Macroeconomic environment, current credit cycle as well as risk classification. Finally, we will discuss how the industry has gone from a reputation of moving slowly to embrace technology to rapidly innovating to meet the challenges brought about by COVID 19.



Kenneth Frino, Managing Director - North American & Caribbean Life Health

Michael Porcelli, Director, AM Best

Thomas Rosendale, Senior Director, North American and Caribbean Life/Health Ratings, AM Best

9:45-10:00 AM

Morning Break 

Sponsored by: FHL Banks                                              

10:00-10:05 AM

Opening Remarks

Christopher Payne, ACLI Annual Conference 2020 Chairman, Vice President & Head, Government Relations, Principal Financial Group

10:05-10:35 AM

Insights on Our American Story: The Past, the Present, the Future

We are living in a country that is making history at this very moment. These will be the times that the younger generation will ask us to explain. But, these times are not unique. Our country has met pivotal moments in each generation. Join us for a fireside chat with the most senior African American leader in the House of Representatives. Majority Whip Clyburn will share his unique historical perspective on our country, from the past, the present, and for the future. 


The Honorable James E. Clyburn, Majority Whip, United States House of Representatives (D-SC-6)

Lauryl Jackson, Vice President, Financial Income Security and Diversity & Inclusion, American Council of Life Insurers

10:35-10:55 AM

Mid-Morning Break

Sponsored by: FHL Banks

10:55-11:30 AM

Political Action Committee (PAC) Update and Introduction

Paul Quaranto, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & President, Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company


Navigating the 2020 Election Amid COVID-19

As the turbulence of the presidential primaries have given way to self-quarantines and social distancing, the nation's political leadership is being put to the test at a critical phase of the 2020 election. What impact will the global pandemic have on the race? Drawing on his extensive research on demographic and cultural trends, Wasserman highlights the six states that will decide President Trump's fate, and the four structural obstacles Joe Biden needs to overcome to win. He also previews where 2020's top House and Senate races are headed - all in a strictly non-partisan and 100% virtual presentation.


David Wasserman, U.S. House Editor for the Cook Political Report

11:30-11:45 AM

Mid-Morning Break  

Sponsored by: FHL Banks


Concurrent Sessions

1. Legal/Compliance Focus Session


The regulatory landscape around the protection of data and, in particular sensitive personal information, is undergoing rapid transformation. At the same time, insurer use of technology is evolving. This session will touch upon some of the data security risks facing companies, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will also provide updates on privacy legislative activity and the push for consumer rights to personal information.



Kate Kiernan, Vice President & Deputy, Policy Development, American Council of Life Insurers


Kirk Herath, Vice President, Associate General Counsel & CPO, Nationwide Financial

Michele Ramsey, Assistant Vice President & Chief Privacy Officer, Principal Financial Group

Joseph W. Swanson, Shareholder, Carlton Fields

2. Finance/Investment Focus Session


Life insurers find themselves facing a protracted low interest rate environment, changing capital and reserving requirements, and an evolving regulatory environment at the state, federal, and international levels.  Balancing these factors while building an investment portfolio that supports stable earnings growth, maintains pricing spreads and policy dividend levels, and preserves strong ratings and balance sheets has never been more challenging.  This panel will discuss tools and strategies to navigate the risks and opportunities in a sustained low yield environment. 


David Kuplic, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, Securian Asset Management  


Vivek Agrawal, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

John Gallagher, Portfolio Manager and Head of North America Fixed Income, BlackRock

Richard Rosen, Vice President and Research Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

3. Trends & Technology Lightning Talks

The life insurance industry was already undergoing a transformation before COVID-19 hit the U.S., but the pandemic accelerated that transformation as there was suddenly increased demand for life insurance – and heightened challenges to meeting the demand. In this session, Brooks Tingle, President and CEO of John Hancock Insurance, will discuss this paradox and the strides the company has made toward digitizing and simplifying the buying process to better serve customers. At the same time, John Hancock hasn’t lost sight of a parallel opportunity to serve an underserved population with Aspire, the only life insurance designed specifically for individuals living with diabetes. Brooks will also comment on this new solution and the need to offer personalized solutions that ultimately help customers live longer, healthier lives.

Brooks Tingle, President and Chief Executive Officer, John Hancock Insurance



A fast-paced, cutting edge panel discussion on alternative data sources.  In today’s world, quick access to data is invaluable in the decision-making process.  Alternative data sources are the new norm across all aspects of a business.  If you are not using them, you are putting your company at a competitive disadvantage. 

The session will outline high-level use cases specifically relevant to the insurance industry to understand consumers, competitors, their spending habits, and interests to guide better how companies should think about marketing, investment management, and new analytical opportunities. 

The session is an opportunity for senior executives to gain a simple roadmap to use technology to their advantage to drive incremental business, and to modernize their products and processes.

Matthew Dell Orfano, Principal & Chief Analyst, Data Market Services
Andrew Robson, Partner, Earnest Research Group
Brendan Walsh, Principal, Data Market Services


In the current regulatory and economic environment, insurers are facing new challenges and opportunities. Current technologies provide insurers enormous opportunity to innovate; however, regulators have an increased focus on consumer protections for the use of those technologies including artificial intelligence. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic regulators have provided unprecedented accommodations to facilitate business on a temporary basis. This session will explore both the regulatory challenges that insurers are facing in this time, as well as industry efforts to make permanent the pandemic-related accommodations.


Jordan Martell, Vice President, Innovation Law, Pacific Life

12:45-1:30 PM

Lunch Break

Life Happens Presentation



Faisa Stafford, President, Life Happens

1:30 - 2:30 PM


Concurrent Sessions

1. Legal/Compliance Focus Session


This session will discuss how to manage customer service requests for extension of grace periods, managing state guidance for grace periods/lapse, as well as working with reinsurers.



Chad Eslinger, Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President, Voya Financial



Chad Batterson, Vice President, Compliance, Athene Annuity and Life Company

Paula Cludray-Engelke, Assistant Vice President, Senior Counsel, Voya Financial

Cyndi Hall, Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, Sammons Financial Group

2. Finance/Investment Focus Session


Brian Stoffers is the global head of debt and structured finance at CBRE and the current Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Given Brian’s unique viewpoint he has the ability to see commercial real estate trends at both a higher level as well as at a more granular one. The combination of the two vantage points gives Brian the ability to not only see what’s happening “on the ground,” but allows him to forecast what may be coming down the pike over the coming months/years.



Mike Morey, Vice President & Managing Director, StanCorp Mortgage Investors, LLC, Standard Insurance Company

Brian Stoffers, Global President, Debt & Structured Finance, Capital Market, CBRE


3. Trends & Technology Lightning Talks


1. The Convergence of Digital and Data

The insurance industry has widely acknowledged that taking advantage of emerging technologies to digitize the business—from digital distribution and customer self-service, to automated underwriting and claims—is now an imperative to remain relevant and competitive. Yet while data is the lifeblood of almost every element of digitization, business and IT leaders responsible for transforming critical business functions often struggle to secure the approval and funding required to prepare that data, make it more accessible, and ensure it is reliable and secure.

In this session, a panel of business and IT executives will discuss three topics:

  1. Which digitization initiatives are taking priority, and why?

  2. What is hindering both the access to and the proper use of the data required to support those initiatives? 

  3. How can a strong business case be made to gain buy-in and investment in data—to remove those obstacles?


Attendees will hear actionable insights from peers, become able to benchmark digitization priorities against others in the industry, and walk away with recommended next steps to gain support for investment in the data that makes digitization a reality.



Ernst Renner, Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer, NEOS

Pedram Afshar, Chief Digital Officer, New York Life
Susan Fiengo, Senior Vice President of Operations, Global Atlantic Financial Group
Neil Freyke, Senior Vice President & Global Chief Data Officer, Manulife


A panel of experts from the American Council of Life Insurers will provide a review of the most pressing legislative and regulatory issues facing the industry today and how the COVID-19 pandemic and current societal landscape have impacted our advocacy efforts. Focus will include policymaking during the pandemic and the effect on pivotal issues for our industry such as underwriting and retirement security. The panel will also discuss the rapidly approaching 2020 election and potential influence on our issues. Join a candid conversation with ACLI legislative and policy experts for their big picture outlook on 2020.

Kathleen Coulombe, Vice President, Federal Relations, Retirement Security, ACLI
Kate Kiernan, Vice President & Deputy, Policy Development, ACLI
Jessica Mancari, Vice President, Executive & Leadership Communications, ACLI
Camille Simpson, Regional Vice President, State Relations, ACLI
Jim Szostek, Vice President & Deputy, Taxes & Retirement Security, ACLI

2:30 - 3:00 PM


Afternoon Break Yoga Class

Feeling sore from sitting at your desk all day? Join Holly Hancock for a 20-minute guided yoga class designed for all bodies and abilities. Yoga gives us an opportunity to move our bodies in an intentional and accessible way. You will leave class feeling a little more mobile and a lot more at peace. No prior yoga experience needed.

Sponsored by: FHL Banks

3:00 - 3:30 PM

Being Resilient and Adaptable in Times of Change and Uncertainty

Mike’s second space flight was one of the last of the Space Shuttle Program. It was time for NASA to retire the space shuttle and move on to the next phase in space exploration. That next phase included flying exclusively on the Russian Soyuz for the foreseeable future, and working with commercial companies in the coming age of private space travel. Many at NASA did not want to accept these changes. But the last few years have shown that those who accepted these changes have thrived, while those who resisted are no longer contributing. Some of these programs are governments working with private enterprise such as the NASA Commercial Crew Program with Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Others are more purely commercial companies such as Jeff Bezos’ BlueOrigin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.  Mike’s NASA training and spaceflights taught him invaluable lessons in how to embrace the situation; concentrate on meaningful work and developing hobbies; keeping open the lines of communication between friends, family and co-workers and using time away from the hustle and bustle of our normal daily routines to think introspectively about our lives.  All lessons we can learn from as we continue to navigate COVID19.


Mike Massimino, Ph.D., Former NASA Astronaut, Columbia University Engineering Professor

3:30 - 3:45 PM


Future Ready: Looking Forward



Susan K. Neely, President & Chief Executive Officer,

American Council of Life Insurers

Join us for a wrap-up featuring surprise performance.

3:45 - 4:30 PM


How to Taste Wines Like A Pro with Alpana Singh

Join us for this interactive wine tasting activity where you will go behind the scenes and learn how to taste wines like a professional sommelier! With this entertaining crash course, you’ll learn quick and easy tips to improve your everyday wine enjoyment by learning how to taste and describe wines with confidence, purchase wines for your cellar, and learn how to pair wines for any feast or occasion. Get ready with your red and white wine selections and participate along!



Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier, TV Personality, and Restaurateur

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