The Model Business Model

Jun 15, 2022

For more than 175 years, America’s life insurers have made safe, sensible investments that allow us to fulfill our long-term guarantees to provide families with financial protection. 

Life insurers have invested $7.4 trillion in the U.S. economy. Soon, we will begin making investments as part of a new financing network supporting community development with a focus on affordable housing throughout the United States.

Our business model is ideal for this. At the DEI: Expanding Opportunities in Insurance conference, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of New York Life Sheila Davidson described how life insurers make long-term promises to customers that we’re going to be here decades from now to pay benefits. To keep these promises, we invest in long-term patient capital, which is perfectly suited for affordable housing investments.

At the same conference, ACLI Chairman and OneAmerica President and CEO Scott Davison discussed how his firm has active life insurance policies that originated in the 1920s. To ensure life insurers are there for our customers whenever they need us, we seek out stable assets that we hold for longer terms. This long-term focus and stability distinguishes life insurers from other investors in affordable housing.

“We can do the same thing for these communities as being there year-in and year-out with the capital and not … leaving them in a lurch,” he said. “So that really lines up with our business model, and that does make us a little bit different from other financial institutions.”

Already 39 ACLI members have signed on as founding partners of this initiative. There’s a lot of work ahead as we establish our financing network. But because long-term capital investing is already ingrained into our business model, the future looks bright. Just ask Priscilla Almovodar, President and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

“I would hope five years from now I would say to you all, because of the life insurance industry, you’ve created a standard that has motivated other investors to come in and preserve affordable housing for working families across the country,” she said. “And it could not have been done without your long-term, reliable capital.”

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 94 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.