A timeline for Executive Life including Executive Life of New York (ELNY), Executive Life of California (ELIC) and their parent company First Executive Corporation (FEC).

For related S2KM reporting, see the Executive Life wiki page.

For a timeline based upon allegations in the ELNY class action lawsuit, see ELNY Allegation Timeline.

Executive Life Timeline
  • 1935 - Executive Life Insurance Company of New York (ELNY) is incorporated and subsequently (in 1937) licensed as a stock life insurer company in the state of New York.
  • 1961 - Executive Life Insurance Company of California (ELIC) is founded as a subsidiary of First Executive Corporation (FEC). FEC subsequently: 1) becomes a public company and 2) borrows $14.6 million from what is now Citibank to purchase ELNY.
  • 1974 - Fred Carr joins First Executive (FEC). FEC has $77 million of assets (355th among U.S. life insurers) of which $22 million represents policy loans. FEC's investment portfolio is $20 million under water. FEC is in default on its $14.6 million Citibank loan. Both the IRS and the New York Insurance Department are investigating ELNY. Touche Ross, FEC's auditors, refuses to express an opinion on its financial statements.
  • 1986 - FEC's zenith. Shareholders' equity is more than $1.5 billion with no debt and total assets of $16.4 billion. The Ivan Boesky scandal erupts and junk bond prices begin to fall.
  • 1987 - The New York Insurance Department disallows a number of reserve credits for ELNY resulting from questionable reinsurance treaties. ELNY admits to violating eight sections of the New York insurance code and agrees to pay a $250,000 fine. ELIC provides ELNY with a $151 million capital infusion requiring FEC to raise additional capital. Joseph Belth, an Indiana University professor and publisher of "Insurance Forum", begins writing negative reports about Executive Life. The mainstream financial press eventually echoes Belth's negative analysis questioning FEC's concentration of junk bonds. FEC and Executive Life complete over $40 billion in junk bond trades with Michael Milken and Drexel Burnam Lambert between 1982 and 1987. Executive Life's competitors promote these negative press reports to convince Executive Life policyholders to surrender their SPDA contracts.
  • 1988 - Carr negotiates a $275 million loan for FEC from a consortium of Japanese banks.
  • 1989 - FEC announces the sale of ELNY. With the Japanese bank loan nearing default, FEC completes a complex rights offering which raises $284 million.
  • 1990 - The ELNY sale falls apart. FEC investors initiate a lawsuit alleging fraud. ELIC and ELNY announce write downs that eventually total $776 million. A.M. Best's lowers ELIC's and ELNY's ratings from A+ to A. FEC becomes the most shorted stock in the United States. From July 1989 to the end of 1990, FEC's stock falls from $16 per share to 16 cents per share as its net worth declines to a negative $3 billion.
  • 1991 - FEC loses $1 billion of its investment portfolio. Michael Milken is jailed for securities fraud. Newly elected California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi obtains a court order seizing control of ELIC. New York's Insurance Commissioner Salvatore Curiale follows with ELNY on April 16. Both companies enter rehabilitation a status which ELNY retains to the present day. FEC files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The combined companies strand more than 500,000 policyholders, annuitants, investors, employees and agents. The annuitants include 13,500 structured settlement recipients. Commissioner Garamendi enters into a two-part sales agreement with New California Life Holdings, Inc. (New California) and Altus Finance (Altus), an affiliate of the French Bank Credit Lyonnais, in connection with the ELIC rehabilitation.
  • 1992 - Gary Schulte publishes his book titled "The Fall of First Executive".
  • 1993 - The 1991 ELIC sales agreement and the ELIC rehabilitation plan are modified and then approved by the Los Angeles Superior Court. Under this agreement, Altus pays $3.25 billion and acquires ELIC's $6.4 billion junk bond portfolio. The Altus purchase price includes $300 million of capital for a newly formed company, Aurora National Life Assurance Company, Inc. (Aurora) which assumes ELIC's remaining assets and liabilities including its structured settlement obligations.
  • 1994 - ELIC's former policyholders and structured settlement recipients are given the opportunity to either opt out of the rehabilitation plan and receive the liquidation value of their existing ELIC contracts or opt in to a new restructured contract with Aurora.
  • 1998 - An anonymous whistle-blower alleges that Crédit Lyonnais was the real buyer of ELIC and controls it through secret agreements. Because banks were prohibited from owning U.S. insurance companies in 1993, the California Insurance Department sues Credit Lyonnais and other parties alleging violations of the federal Bank Holding Company Act, the California Insurance Code and other California statutes.
  • 2003 - Credit Lyonnais and some of the other defendants settle with the California Insurance Department for $730.5 million of which $211 million will be distributed to opt out policyholders and payees and $403 to Aurora to supplement payments for opt in policyholders and payees.
  • 2005 - The California Insurance Department case against the remaining defendants results in a substantial verdict including $700 million of punitive damages.
  • 2007 - New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announces an "agreement in principle" for ELNY designed to continue paying all ELNY annuitants 100% of their benefits. The plan is intended to protect approximately 11,000 ELNY annuity recipients including approximately 8000 structured settlement recipients. It requires and anticipates future approval by the New York Nassau County State Supreme Court. The announced plan, however, whereby various insurers and guarantee associations apparently agree to pay $650 to $750 million to fund approximately $2 billion of future ELNY payments, never materializes.
  • 2008 - The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reviews the 2005 trial court verdict in the California Insurance Department ELIC case and remands the case for a new trial on the issue of damages. A new trial court date has not yet been set.
  • 2009 - Audited financial statements indicate ELNY has total admitted assets of $984,021,594 compared with total liabilities of $2,516,254,541 as of December 31, 2009. The National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations estimates the majority of ELNY's guaranty association costs (e.g. 66-75%) will likely be borne by New York's two life insurance guaranty associations and that 20-30 state guaranty associations may eventually participate in a final ELNY plan.
  • 2010 - A New York State Supreme Court Judge orders the Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department to present the Court with a proposed order and plan of liquidation for ELNY on or before July 1, 2011 after the Superintendent confers with the Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation of New York and other interested parties. The plan is supposed to establish a briefing schedule and provide for notice to all ELNY creditors. Audited financial statements (as of December 31. 2010) show ELNY has assets of $905,945,200 compared with liabilities of $2,474,317,342 resulting in a negative surplus of $1,568,372,142. The California Insurance Commissioners distributes funds received from the 2003 Credit Lyonnais settlements to approximately 27,300 former ELIC policyholders including former ELIC structured settlement recipients (opt outs) who elected to terminate their policies.
  • June 23, 2011 - The Superintendent of the New York Insurance Department files a motion to postpone the deadline for filing a proposed order and plan of liquidation for ELNY with the New York State Supreme Court of Nassau County from July 1, 2011 to August 10, 2011 "in order to present a comprehensive and consensual proposed Plan of Liquidation that maximizes the potential benefits for ELNY's structured settlement and other annuitants."
  • August 8, 2011 - Counsel for the Superintendent of the New York Insurance Department (serving as Rehabilitator for ELNY) advises the New York Supreme Court of Nassau County that the Rehabilitator 'is not in a position to submit a consensual proposed order and plan of liquidation on or before August 10, 2011" as previously promised. Instead, he anticipates the Rehabilitator doing so on or about August 26, 2011. The letter from the Rehabilitator's counsel indicates, however, that even if the plan is filed by that date, it will not have been approved by the Life and Health Guaranty Associations. In a separate lawsuit, Aurora v. Poizner, a California Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling supporting a 2008 decision by then California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to reject an application by Reassure America Life Insurance Company to acquire Aurora National Life Insurance Company from Aurora S.A.
  • September 1, 2011- James Wrynn, New York's Insurance Superintendent, petitions the Supreme Court of Nassau County New York for an Order of Liquidation and Approval of a Restructuring Agreement for ELNY.
  • October 10, 2011 - A.M. Best places J.G. Wentworth affiliate ratings under review as a result of the ELNY liquidation.
  • November 7, 2011 - The New York Superintendent of Financial Services files Schedule 1.15 of the ELNY Restructuring Agreement with the Supreme Court of Nassau County New York listing the amount of benefits to be allocated to each ELNY annuity.
  • November 21, 2011 - The New York Superintendent of Financial Services, as Receiver for ELNY, begins publishing weekly notices announcing the proposed ELNY liquidation and Restructuring Agreement in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
  • December 7, 2011 - The New York Liquidation Bureau mails letters to individual ELNY annuity payees notifying them about the proposed ELNY liquidation and Restructuring Agreement and alerting them of anticipated shortfalls for specific ELNY annuity contracts.
  • January 16, 2012 - deadline for ELNY liquidation Answering Papers (objections) to be served on the Superintendent in response to the petition.
  • March 1, 2012 - date for ELNY liquidation Reply Papers to be filed and served by the Superintendent.
  • March 15-30, 2012 - hearing before Judge John M. Galasso of the Supreme Court of Nassau County New York to consider the Petition by the New York Insurance Superintendent for an Order of Liquidation and Approval of a Restructuring Agreement for ELNY.
  • April 16, 2012 - Judge Galasso signs Order of Liquidation and Approval of the ELNY Restructuring Agreement.
  • April 27, 2012 - JAMS mails Hardship Fund Notice to ELNY shortfall victims.
  • May 30, 2012 - Attorney Edward Stone files a Notice of Appeal challenging the Executive Life of New York (ELNY) Order of Liquidation and Approval of the ELNY Restructuring Agreement.
  • June 14, 2012 - Attorneys representing several liability insurers who previously purchased ELNY structured settlement annuities file a Motion asking Judge Galasso to "clarify and/or correct" his ELNY Memorandum Decision insofar as it "caused confusion or mistake" concerning responsibilities of those liability insurers to make up shortfalls on ELNY annuities.
  • July 16, 2012 - Judge Galasso scheduled to consider the Motion to clarify and/or correct.
  • July 23, 2012 - Judge Galasso denies the liability insurers' motion.
  • August 17, 2012 - deadline for Appellants' brief and the record on appeal to be served and filed.
  • September 7, 2012 - Superintendent, as ELNY Receiver and Respondent, and NOLHGA serve and file ELNY appeal briefs.
  • September 12, 2012 - deadline for ELNY Hardship Fund applications. See: Application Instructions.
  • September 14, 2012 - Appellants serve and file reply brief; NYLB announces ELNY Facilitation Plan.
  • October 29, 2012 - a federal jury rejects a claim by California's Insurance Commissioner for a conspiracy by French investor group Artemis S.A. in Garamendi v. Altus Finance S.A.
  • November 6, 2012 - National Underwriter publishes "The Complete Saga of ELNY".
  • November 8, 2012 - ELNY class action filed against Benjamin Lawsky, MetLife and Credit Suisse.
  • November 15, 2012 - Oral arguments for ELNY appeal.
  • December 7, 2012 - Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky files Notice of Motion seeking to enforce ELNY injunctions and contempt order.
  • January 8, 2012 - ELNY victims hold press conference highlighting alleged injustices by Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, as ELNY's Receiver, and his predecessors and their agents.
  • January 18, 2013 - Superintendent Lawsky files Notice of Motion seeking to stay or dismiss ELNY class action lawsuit.
  • January 25, 2013 - Judge Galasso issues an order holding ELNY shortfall payees' attorneys in contempt of court and imposing a fine for filing a class action lawsuit in federal court.
  • January 28, 2013 - ELNY shortfall payees' attorneys issue press release announcing their plan to appeal the contempt order.
  • February 6, 2013 - The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department denies the appeal challenging the ELNY Order of Liquidation and Approval of the ELNY Restructuring Agreement.
  • February 7, 2013 - Attorneys representing ELNY shortfall victims voluntarily dismiss the ELNY class action lawsuit without prejudice preserving their right to re-file claims and tolling the statute of limitations.
  • February 14, 2013 - Three ELNY shortfall payees and their legal counsel appeal Judge Galasso's January 25, 2013 contempt order.
  • March 8, 2013 - ELNY shortfall payees file Motion for Leave to Appeal the February 6, 2013 Second Department decision with the New York State Court of Appeals.
  • May 3, 2013 - New York State Court of Appeals denies Motion by ELNY shortfall payees for Leave to Appeal the February 6, 2013 Second Department decision.
  • August 8, 2013 - Announced date for the ELNY liquidation and closing of the ELNY Restructuring Agreement.
  • August 9, 2013 - Shortfall payees file brief in appeal of ELNY Contempt Order.
  • November 18, 2013 - Guaranty Association Benefits Company (GABC), the successor to ELNY, publishes the final Schedule 1.15 on its website.
  • April 11, 2014 - Class action filed in Oregon vs. Ringer Associates on behalf of ELNY shortfall victims whose structured settlements were funded with qualified assignments and who resided in states where ELNY was not licensed to sell insurance when their settlements were consummated.
  • April 16, 2014 - Class action filed in Florida vs. EPS Settlements Group on behalf of ELNY shortfall victims whose structured settlements were funded with qualified assignments and who resided in states where ELNY was not licensed to sell insurance when their settlements were consummated.
  • November 5, 2014 - The Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial Department issued an Order dismissing the August 9, 2013 appeal by the shortfall payees and affirming Judge Galasso's January 25, 2013 Contempt Order as to their attorneys.
  • December 17, 2014 - The Florida class action lawsuit vs. EPS is dismissed with prejudice.
  • June 10, 2015 -The New York Court of Appeal denies motion for leave to appeal contempt sanctions imposed on plaintiff attorneys for filing class action lawsuit in federal court on behalf of ELNY victims.