About LICONY

Mission
To create and maintain a legislative, regulatory, and judicial environment in the State of New York that encourages the members of LICONY to conduct and grow their life insurance businesses.

Vision
To be the principal voice of the life insurance industry operating in New York State and to be the most influential insurance voice in the New York legislative and regulatory process

LICONY Board of Directors

Officers

  • Michael A. Zarcone, Chair

    Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs
    MetLife

  • Kermitt Brooks, Chair-Elect

    Chief Legal Officer
    The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

  • Christine DeBiase, Secretary-Treasurer

    Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel
    Brighthouse Financial

  • Frederick L. Wortman, Past Chair

    Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Administration Officer
    Security Mutual Life

Directors

  • Jason A. D’Angelo

    Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
    Mutual of America Financial Group

  • Gretchen Cepek

    Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
    Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

  • Christine Dugan

    Executive Vice President, Product & Business Development
    TIAA

  • Joseph F. Gill

    Chief Executive Officer, President & Chief Operating Officer
    National Benefit Life Insurance Company

  • José Ramón González

    Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
    Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company

  • Frank L. Lettera

    Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
    Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Company

  • Shawn Loftus

    Senior Vice President, Chief Life Actuary
    USAA Life Insurance Company

  • Michael McDonnell

    Senior Vice President and General Counsel
    New York Life

  • David G. Melman

    Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Chief Legal Officer
    ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company

  • Christine Nixon

    Executive Vice President and General Counsel
    Corebridge Financial

  • Timothy A. Walsh

    Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
    American National Life Insurance Company of New York

  • Andrew S. Williams

    General Counsel & Senior Vice President
    Transamerica

LICONY Staff

Richard A. Loconte, President & CEO

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Richard Loconte is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY). He oversees the organization's operations and works directly with the LICONY Board of Directors to develop and guide the strategic mission of the organization. LICONY is the leading life insurance organization in New York, representing more than 70 life insurer member companies and more than 20 allied professional firm members. Its mission is to create and maintain a legislative and regulatory environment in the State of New York that encourages the members of LICONY to conduct and grow their life insurance businesses.

Prior to joining LICONY, Rich served as a Vice President of Government Affairs at Oscar Health Insurance, where he led the company’s governmental and regulatory engagement at the state and federal levels. At Oscar, he designed and built the company’s government affairs function to meet the demand of a growth stage startup that has expanded across the country to become the third largest individual health insurer in the nation.

Before joining Oscar, Rich served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of Communications and Strategy for the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). At DFS, he led the Department’s external relations functions including legislative affairs, communications, media relations, consumer outreach, education, and complaint processing. In this role, Rich also counseled the Superintendent and other senior staff on the Department’s regulatory and legislative initiatives and enforcement, served as liaison to the Governor’s office, and worked closely with key financial services trade associations, including LICONY. His insurance career also includes working at American International Group, Inc., where he was Deputy Head of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel. There, Rich represented AIG before regulatory agencies and other government bodies on legislative and regulatory issues related to the insurance industry and the broader financial services sector and was instrumental in reestablishing the company's federal government affairs office in Washington, DC.

A New York City native, Rich is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Diane D. Stuto, Managing Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs

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Diane Stuto is the Managing Director for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY). She joined the association in 1990 as an Assistant Vice President. She was appointed to Vice President in 1995, Senior Vice President in 1999, and to Executive Vice President in 2003.  She was appointed to her new position in 2016.  Diane's focus is primarily on regulatory issues of importance to the life insurance industry of New York.

She is the primary contact for LICONY to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Diane is principally responsible for most of the regulatory advocacy & compliance issues involving the New York Department of Financial Services, including life insurance and annuity replacements (Regulation 60), life insurance & annuity best interest & suitability (Regulation 187), life insurance & annuity non-guaranteed elements (Regulation 210), actuarial & reserving, risk classification & privacy matters, and holding company matters, including ERM and ORSA.  Diane is also responsible for matters relating to company examinations.  Prior to 2016, Diane was principally responsible for LICONY advocacy before the New York legislature.

Before joining LICONY, Diane worked for several years in the New York State Senate, her last position as Legislative Director to the ranking member of the Senate Insurance Committee. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany. Diane and her husband reside in Albany, New York with their triplet children.

Timothy D. Atkins, Managing Director

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Timothy Atkins is the Managing Director for Legislative Affairs at LICONY. Timothy's responsibilities at LICONY include drafting legislation and lobbying support for the bills that will make up the organization’s affirmative legislative program; analyzing new bills and regulations for their impact our companies; drafting position memos as needed; and, representing LICONY and its member companies at meetings with legislators, Executive Chamber staff, and the Department of Financial Services.

Timothy came to LICONY in November of 2019 with more than a decade of experience in positions working in and around the New York State Legislature. Most recently, Atkins served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Dormitory of the State of New York (DASNY). There he worked directly with the President and senior management to develop DASNY’s legislative agenda including soliciting legislative sponsorship and support. He also guided DASNY’s proposals through the legislative process and successfully lobbied for the passage of the several pieces of legislation critical to the authority. He has also held several positions inside the New York State Senate including Parliamentarian where he assisted in developing the daily Senate floor agenda and provided advice to the acting President of the Senate relating to the Senate Rules, parliamentary procedure, and the customs of the house.

Timothy earned his Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Albany.

Tim and his wife reside in Delmar, New York with their two daughters.

Linda M. Nusbaum, Director, Operations

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Linda Nusbaum is Director of Operations of the Life Insurance Council of New York. She is responsible for supporting the President & CEO in planning efforts and managing the financial resources necessary for executing LICONY’s mission. She oversees the daily operations of LICONY and is responsible for accounting, bank relations and directing office workflow. Prior to joining LICONY, she worked for the New York State Assembly. 

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Empire State College. Linda and her husband reside in East Greenbush, New York with their two children.

Edward B. Koller, Manager, Public & Legislative Affairs

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Edward Koller is the Manager of Public & Legislative Affairs at the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY). He joined LICONY in April of 2018. Edward manages communication strategies and supports regulatory and legislative efforts by preparing press materials and member publications. He also designs and prepares marketing materials for events and ad placement. On the legislative side, Edward works with staff to track legislation of interest to LICONY members and support lobbying efforts.

Prior to joining LICONY, Edward worked as Communications Director at the Capital Area School Development Association. There he worked with staff and faculty to develop, design and market events and technical assistance services through print and digital media platforms to help improve student outcomes in the Capital Region. Edward also started his career working in the NYS Assembly where he wrote press releases, columns, talking points and other materials for members.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Albany. Edward and his wife reside in Delmar, NY with their two children.

Hannah M. Williams, Communications Specialist

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Hannah Williams is the Communications Specialist at the Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY). She joined LICONY in May of 2022. Hannah maintains the organization’s social media and focuses on internal and external communications.

Prior to joining LICONY, Hannah worked as a Press Aide in the Senate Majority Press Office. There she worked as part of a collaborative team to provide public relations for the Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, as well as other Senators in the Democratic Majority Conference. Hannah started her career in the NYS Assembly, where she was a Researcher in the Communications and Information Services department.

Hannah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the State University Of New York at Buffalo in 2019 and moved to Albany the following year.

Patricia M. Tario, Executive Assistant

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Patty Tario is the Executive Assistant for Richard Loconte. She joined the association in September of 2017 as an Administrative Assistant. Prior to joining LICONY, Patty worked for over 20 years in the New York State Assembly Speakers Office as an Executive Assistant.

Patty resides in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband, Dennis and has two adult children.

Liz Marsh, Administrative Assistant

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Liz Marsh is the Administrative Assistant for LICONY. She joined the association in September 2022 and provides administrative support, as well as prepares and submits New York State Lobbying and Board of Election filings. Prior to joining LICONY, Liz worked over six years at Mount Ida Press.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College. She resides in Guilderland, New York, with her fiancé, Steve, and their Siberian Husky.

LICONY History

  • The Life Insurance Council of New York, Incorporated (LICONY) is organized as a Type A Not-For-Profit Corporation under Section 201 of the New York Not-For-Profit Corporation law. LICONY was formed as a result of the consolidation of two New York life insurance trade associations--the Association of New York State Life Insurance Companies and Life Companies of New York.
  • The Association of New York State Life Insurance Companies was organized on February 2, 1968 by a group of ten medium-sized domestic companies located in Albany, Binghamton, Jamestown, Syracuse and New York City.
  • The original mission was to promote the common business interests of member companies; to present to executive, legislative, judicial and regulatory bodies of New York State institutional views in the best interests of the life insurance industry and its policyholders; to work for legislation and regulations that would tend to accomplish these purposes; and, to oppose legislation and regulations not consistent with these goals. 
  • Since 1968 the Association grew steadily in membership. The large mutual life insurance companies which represent a significant domestic presence, joined in 1970-1971, and by the fall of 1977 there were 38 domestic life insurance members.
  • Life Companies of New York was formed in 1971 by the presidents of five New York life insurance companies. One of the unique aspects of Life Companies of New York was that attendance at its monthly meetings was limited to chief executive officers or chief operating officers. Formed to provide a forum to discuss mutual practices and areas of concern, Life Companies of New York quickly expanded its membership to some 20 companies.
  • Leaders in both associations recognized, in view of their common goals and the need to coordinate efforts that the time had come in 1977 to merge. The marriage of these two associations, The Association of New York State Life Insurance Companies and Life Companies of New York in December 1977, produced a single restructured Life Insurance Council of New York, Incorporated (LICONY), comprised of 44 domestic life insurance companies. This consolidation of the life insurance industry trade associations in New York has resulted in a single unified voice speaking on its behalf.
  • In 1978 Peter J. Flanagan becomes president of LICONY. Peter Flanagan began his career as a group underwriter at The Equitable Company. He was vice president, general counsel and secretary of the United States Life Insurance Company, and later was general counsel of the Association of New York State Life Insurance Companies before the 1977 merger.
  • In 1993, LICONY expanded its membership by introducing a new class of membership -- associate members -- that included both non-domestic life insurance companies and professional firms. In 2003, the associate member class was restricted to non-domestic life insurance companies and a new third class of members -- allied professional firms and other services members – was established for accounting, actuarial, law, and other services firms.
  • In 1999 Thomas E. Workman becomes president of LICONY. From 1973 to 1999, Thomas Workman practiced law with Bricker & Eckler LLP in Columbus, Ohio. He chaired the Insurance Law Practice Group and was Legislative Counsel to the Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies. Mr. Workman was awarded the Buist M. Anderson Award for Distinguished Service by the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. From 1970 to 1973, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. Mr. Workman received his B.S. and J.D. from The Ohio State University.
  • In 2016, LICONY closed it's New York City office and consolidated operations to its Albany, NY office. The Albany office is a short walk from the State Capital and currently employs seven full-time staff members who work on behalf of the association's member companies.
  • In 2016 Mary A. Griffin becomes president of LICONY. Mary Griffin joined Citigroup in 2000 and represented the company before the New York State and New York City governments on a variety of legislative and regulatory issues. Prior to joining Citigroup, Ms. Griffin was Assistant Vice President, Government Affairs, for the American Insurance Association (AIA) from 1992 to 2000.
  • Forty-three years after the merger, LICONY's membership stands at 55 member companies, 22 associate members and 19 allied professional members.
  • In 2021 Richard A. Loconte becomes president of LICONY. Richard Loconte is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey and before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Mr. Loconte joined Oscar Health Insurance in 2019 to design and launch its government affairs function for the 18 states in which the company conducts business. Prior to joining Oscar Health Insurance, he served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of Communications and Strategy at the New York State Department of Financial Services from 2016 to 2019 under then Superintendent Maria T. Vullo.