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Chairman of Board receives New York Life’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award

December 3, 2008

The Round Table of New York announced today that Sy Sternberg, CLU®, Chairman of the Board of the New York Life Insurance Company, received the organization’s 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.   Sternberg was honored at a black tie event at the Union League Club of New York on December 1, 2008.

“Sy’s leadership at New York Life helped the organization become one of the largest and best managed financial services companies in the world,” said James J. Nemec, CLU®, ChFC®, Managing Partner, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Chairman, Round Table of New York.  “His commitment to mutuality, financial strength and high-quality, low-risk investments, allowed his organization to avoid the current financial crisis gripping Wall Street.  In fact, New York Life’s Triple-A ratings were restored under Sy’s leadership, thanks to his vision and commitment to managing the company in the best long-term interests of its policyholders.”

Each year the Round Table of New York presents its Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual that has made significant contributions to the insurance and financial services industry.  The award recognizes individuals for their accomplishments in the areas of professional ethics, education and industry leadership.  Past industry luminaries that have received this award include:

Lawrence R. Pike, CLU®  - Chairman Emeritus, Union Central Life (2000)
Dr. Kenneth Black, Jr, CLU®   - Dean Emeritus, Georgia State University (2001)
Joseph J. Melone, CLU®, ChFC®  - Pres. & CEO Emeritus, AXA Financial (2002)
Samuel Weese Ph.D., CLU® - Pres. & CEO Emeritus, The American College (2003)
Maurice Stewart, CLU®, ChFC®, CLF® - Senior Vice President, Penn Mutual Life (2004)
Charles Smith, CLU®, ChFC® - CEO Emeritus, GAMA International (2005)
Louis P. DiCerbo, CLU®, ChFC®, LUTCF - Chair, PCP Benefit Plans, Ltd (2006)
David F. Woods, CLU®, ChFC®, LUTCF - Pres., Life and Health Foundation for Education and CEO Emeritus, NAIFA (2007)

Sternberg’s contributions to the financial services industry are numerous.  He is the Chairman of the Board of New York Life Insurance Company, the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States and one of the largest life insurers in the world. 

He joined New York Life in 1989 as Senior Vice President in charge of the company’s group insurance department.  In February of 1995, Sternberg was elected Vice Chairman of the Board of New York Life and became President and Chief Operating Officer in October of that same year.  In April 1997, he became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.  He remained CEO until his retirement in June 2008.

Before joining New York Life, Sternberg spent 13 years at MassMutual, where he was most recently Senior Executive Vice President.  In that position, he was one of three member of the office of the Chairman and a member of company’s Board of Directors.

From 1999 – 2002, Sternberg was named by President Clinton to be one of three U.S. representatives to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC).  In January 2008, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City appointed Sternberg co-chair, along with former Mayor Dinkins to the Mayor’s Task Force on Career and Technical Education Innovation.

Sternberg is a member of the Board of Trustees for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y.  He was recently elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Sternberg earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the City College of New York in 1965 and an M.S.E.E. degree from Northeastern University in 1968.  In 1976, he earned the highest designation in the life insurance industry, the Chartered Life Underwriter®, (CLU®) from The American College where he is a member of the President’s Circle.  Sternberg also received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree from Polytechnic University in 2006.
He is the father of two grown daughters, Jodi and Donna, and resides in Purchase, N.Y., with his wife, Laurie, and their son, Matthew.

John Baier, CLU®, ChFC®, CLF®, MSFS presented Sternberg with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Union League Club of New York on December 1, 2008. 

Established in 1919, the Round Table of New York was initially organized by 28 men representing 22 life insurance companies.  The organization seeks to enhance the stature of the financial services industry through adherence to ethical procedures, continuing education and meaningful service to the public.  Members of the Round Table of New York support the work of local, state and national organizations including NAIFA, LUPAC, MDRT and GAMA.  In addition, the organization supports the advanced education available through The American College including its LUTCF, CLU® and ChFC® designation programs.  Some of the financial services industry’s most prominent business, professional association and community leaders have been members of the organization.