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Wednesday, October 13

9:15-9:45 AM


Hot Topics

Life and Annuity- Weathers Pandemic in 2020, Threats and Challenges Still Exist
This session will address the impact of the extended low rate environment on permanent Life insurance.  As low rates have slowly eroded spreads and impacted reserves for permanent life products, the mix of new business going forward is beginning to change. While many carriers will be changing the mix of life products offered, will some elect to discontinue new life business entirely? It will also include a discussion on how COVID-19 will affect life insurance underwriting practices going forward.  As it is becoming clear that the life expectancy of COVID-19 survivors may be impacted materially, how will this be reflected in the life underwriting process in the future? Will it require modifications to the traditional underwriting process and the current life insurance applications? Will the recently developed data-driven underwriting models need to be modified?

Ken Frino, Managing Director, AM Best
Edward Kohlberg, Director, AM Best

Mike Porcelli, Director, AM Best

Sponsored by
AM Best

9:45-10:00 AM

Morning Break 

Sponsored by


10:00 - 10:05 AM

Conference Welcome

Sonya Gavankar, Television & Podcast Host and Expert Storyteller, ACLI Annual Conference 2021 Emcee

Opening Remarks

Julie Herwig, ACLI Annual Conference 2021 Chair, Senior Vice President, Head of Governmental Affairs, New York Life Insurance Company

10:05-10:45 AM

General Session: Harnessing Financial Strength to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Influential business leaders will discuss how the financial services and philanthropy sectors can join forces to close the racial wealth gap in our country. TIAA President & CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett brings to the table her extensive financial services experience, including JP Morgan Chase’s CEO of consumer banking operations and Fannie Mae’s director of national strategies to increase homeownership in communities of color. Ford Foundation President Darren Walker offers his perspectives on how the nation’s leading $16 billion philanthropy organization works with capital markets to advance social justice in America and internationally. The conversation will be moderated by Pacific Life Chairman. President and CEO Jim Morris.


Jim Morris, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Life Insurance Company             



Thasunda Brown Duckett, President & Chief Executive Officer, TIAA

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

10:45-11:00 AM

Mid-Morning Break

Sponsored by



Concurrent Sessions

1. Legal/Compliance Focus Session


Cybersecurity Enforcement in Insurance: New York and Beyond

As insurance industry cybersecurity regulations mature and cybersecurity events continue to escalate, state and federal agencies have been enforcing cybersecurity events and preparedness. In addition, state privacy law developments seek to expand the rights of data subjects. Panelists will examine the enforcement trends around cybersecurity assessments, cybersecurity events, the impact of recent privacy legislation and will also discuss how current activity might inform other regulators going forward.


Peter Baldwin, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP



Christie Corado, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Privacy Officer, MIB Group, Inc.
Daniel Gortze, Chief Information Security Officer, MIB Group, Inc.

Christine Szafranski, Privacy Director, American Family Life Insurance Company

2. Finance/Investment Focus Session


Risk Based Capital Upcoming Potential Changes


After years of proposals, negotiations, fits and starts, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) appears ready to make a final call to approve new risk-based capital (RBC) factors for bond investments. Somewhat less certain is a tag-along project to update RBC factors for real estate investments. The next few months will provide clarity for insurers as final decisions are made for 2021.

Mirka Luoto, Managing Director, Sr. Client Advisor, Principal Financial Group

Matt Ahmann, Assistant Vice President – State Government Relations, Principal Financial Group
Martha Leiper, Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, Unum
Lisa Stange, Board Chair, Iowa Public Employee Retirement System

3. Trends & Technology Lightning Talks

1. Leadership in Context: Using Industry Knowledge to Build the Leadership Pipeline


This session will describe the ideas, approaches, and tactics used by New York Life to ensure it has a rich pipeline of leaders ready to guide the organization into the future.  By balancing the development of specific culturally aligned leadership capabilities with the application of those capabilities in a mutual life insurer context, the company benefits from both great leadership and a continuation of its rich history and culture.


The speakers will describe four distinct approaches to this work, and provide participants with ideas for development and application back in their own organizations.



Suellen Albahary, Head of Leadership Development, New York Life Insurance Company

Steven Erickson, Corporate Vice President, New York Life Insurance Company

Ginny Martello, Vice President Learning & Development, New York Life Insurance Company




2.  Gender and Racial Equality in Insurance, and the Impact of COVID-19

How is life insurance doing on gender and racial equality compared to other industries in the U.S.? How has COVID affected groups differently? How can carriers take bolder action to close gender and racial gaps across the talent pipeline? In this discussion, Kweilin Ellingrud from McKinsey & Company will address these questions and share the latest Women in the Workplace survey results (hot off the press!).

Kweilin Ellingrud, Head of Life and Annuities Practice in North America, McKinsey & Company


4. Supplemental Benefits - Protecting Consumers and their Family Budgets Is Job #1

This session will explore how Supplemental Benefits help protect people from the unexpected hits to their family budgets that come from the growing out-of-pocket costs they face when sick or injured, and why they are increasingly important as the economy changes. Industry experts will discuss how Supplemental Benefits, including dental and vision products, fit with people's overall financial protection plans and help cover costs not covered by major medical insurance. The panel will explore new existential threats to these products at both the federal and state legislative and regulatory levels, why they have become a target of some consumer advocates, and what the industry is doing to respond to the “junk insurance” narrative that is impacting policymaker attitudes. They will also discuss the latest intelligence we have on potential state and federal legislative action involving Supplemental Benefits, especially dental and vision which is seeing a notable increase in legislative challenges.



Cindy Goff, Vice President, Supplemental Benefits and Group Insurance, ACLI



Brad Knox, Senior Vice President and Counsel, Aflac

Richard Jones, Vice President, State Affairs and Government Relations, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Theresa McConeghey, Assistant Vice President, Specialty Benefits Products, Principal Financial

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Life Happens Presentation and Lunch Break

1:00 - 2:00 PM


Concurrent Sessions

1. Legal/Compliance Focus Session


A CEO’s View on Creating a Culture of Compliance
Learn how CEOs are approaching the creation of a culture of 'doing the right thing'!  What are things they want the compliance, risk, ethics and legal departments to know about how to approach this important topic? What are the ways to appropriately get their attention on the hot topics of the day?



Maureen Henderson, Senior Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer, Symetra Life Insurance Company


Matt Grove, President and Chief Executive Officer, Resolution Life
Jasmine Jirele, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Teresa Rasmussen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Thrivent Financial

2. Finance/Investment Focus Session


M&A: What's Happened and What’s Coming?


Activity in the life merger and acquisition (M&A) market is making a steady recovery that’s exceeding pre-pandemic levels. In the same way that companies shifted to doing business using video conferencing platforms, regulators have done their part to ensure that deals receive timely reviews and approvals. COVID-19 hasn’t fundamentally altered the main drivers of life market deals; the economic and market environments haven’t changed to any great degree. There is strong subjective evidence of further growth. A number of deals — involving a wide range of industry and financial buyers — have closed or progressed during the pandemic. Join us for insights from industry M&A leaders on key trends, the main drivers of deals and what the industry can expect next.


Nick Komissarov, Senior Director, Willis Towers Watson



Lance Black, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Corporate Development, Protective Life Corporation

Shane Ewen, Vice President and Actuary, Prudential Financial
Elizabeth Millard, Head of Mergers, Acquisitions and Reinsurance, Resolution Life

3. Trends & Technology Lightning Talks


a) Leaders Wanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth

The past year has shown us that technology is a lifeline for economies, governments, companies, and people. It changed the way we see and understand the world. It also pushed a giant fast-forward button to the future. Amid 2020’s challenges, many organizations lacked the digital foundation needed to rapidly pivot, and were confronted with a stark reality: a digital performance gap that widened seemingly overnight. Yet, other leading organizations stepped up to use technology in extraordinary ways to keep their businesses and communities running—at speeds they thought previously impossible. As you learn about the trends in this year’s Accenture Technology Vision, this session will enable you to think about how you can apply them to reimagine and replatform your business— leading the change that is needed for your organization, for your people, and for our world.

Kym Gully, ALIP Product Strategy and Development Lead, Accenture


b) Living in the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Health, Finances, and Retirement Prospects of Four Generations

Workers are living through a public health crisis and coping with concerns ranging from health and family to employment and finances. With the immediacy of these concerns and uncertainty about the future, it is surprising that their preparations for retirement, an abstract and distant time for many, have not been altogether forgotten. Based on findings from nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies’ 21st Annual Retirement Survey of Workers, this session will explore the experiences four generations – Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers – and the impacts of the pandemic on their health, employment, financial well-being, and their ability to save and invest for retirement. It will highlight implications and opportunities for the industry.


Howard Bard, Vice President, Taxes & Retirement Security, ACLI



Catherine Collinson, Chief Executive Officer & President, Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies


4. Big Picture: Regulatory & Legislative Landscape in 2021

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.


Kathleen Coulombe, Vice President, Retirement Security & Principal Deputy, Federal Relations, ACLI

Cindy Goff, Vice President & Chief Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, ACLI

Jessica Mancari, Vice President, Executive & Leadership Communications, ACLI

John Mangan, Vice President & Deputy State Relations, ACLI

Jim Szostek, Vice President & Deputy, Taxes & Retirement Security, ACLI

2:00 - 2:30 PM


Afternoon Break 

Sponsored by


2:30 - 3:00 PM

General Session with Featured Speaker Peter H. Diamandis
Recently named by Fortune Magazine as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. He will deliver a gripping and insightful keynote about how through riding the wave of accelerating technologies, we all can reach the road map to our near future.


Today a company’s success depends on strategy and bold thinking. Diamandis will examine what it takes for a company to become an exponential organization through driving culture, inspiring innovation, and transforming your organization's mindset. He will explain why the rate of technological acceleration is accelerating – and how reaching the future is faster than you think.

Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Founder, Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation, Executive Founder and Director, Singularity University

3:00 - 3:15 PM


Wrap Up


Susan K. Neely, President & Chief Executive Officer, American Council of Life Insurers

3:15 - 4:00 PM


Special Activity

Tune in for the virtual magic show unlike any other! Johnny Wu, celebrity magician and mentalist, takes his famous magic show virtual. Enjoy a front row seat to an unrivaled and interactive magic, mentalism, mind reading, and hypnosis show.