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Pacific Life to Host Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) 2024 Innovation Forum

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – February 27, 2024 – Pacific Life will host the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) 2024 Innovation Forum on February 28 in Newport Beach, California. The Forum will feature dozens of industry experts who will explore the theme: Challenging Inertia – Moving Beyond Conflicts to Foster Innovation.

“Pacific Life is excited to host the 2024 DCIIA Innovation Forum and DEI celebration,” said Karen Neeley, vice president and head of Institutional Retirement Solutions Group. “Working with fantastic associations such as DCIIA and many of their member organizations has been an important part of our success and will continue to be as we enter our fifth year as a business unit.”

Prior to the Forum, Pacific Life is proud to host DCIIA’s 2024 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Awards Celebration. Two of this year’s honorees are Pacific Life’s Tandi LeFranc, assistant vice president of Business Strategy Acceleration for Institutional; and Brian Woolfolk, executive vice president of Institutional, who will be recognized for their significant contributions to the company’s DEI programs and community activities.

The DCIIA events coincide with Pacific Life’s Institutional Business’ fourth anniversary. The division was born from an enterprise initiative to improve customer experience by aligning products to better satisfy customers’ holistic needs and meet market demands. The team is celebrating remarkable success while continuing to invest in thought leadership, product-solution innovation, and collaboration with industry peers.

From its inception, the new division was able to leverage Pacific Life’s excellent reputation, financial strength, and investing capabilities.

When Institutional launched in 2020, the small team of about 20 upstarts situated inside a 152-year-old financial-services pioneer, anticipated many of the same challenges as any new business initiative. What they couldn’t predict was that the entire business world would shut down due to the global pandemic, just as the new business unit was starting up.

“From a business perspective, we were eight weeks in and just getting our footing when the pandemic hit,” said Brian Woolfolk, executive vice president and head of Institutional Business. “Of course, the health and safety of our team was our priority, but after everyone went home and began adapting to our new normal, we asked ourselves ‘OK, this is impossible…but what if it wasn’t?’

With that, our small tiger team embraced the challenge, leaned into the opportunity, and expected to succeed despite the new obstacles. We couldn’t have done it without the significant support we received from the entire organization.”

Over the past four years, the division has blossomed into a national team. Through a diligent approach to acquiring industry expertise, the business unit has grown steadily, adding exceptional talent and increasing its intellectual capital by sixfold from the original group. In 2023 Karen Neeley joined as vice president and head of the Institutional Retirement Solutions Group, focusing on defined contribution lifetime income (DCLI) and pension risk transfer (PRT) solutions as key growth initiatives.

Companies in the retirement and financial services industry have taken notice. In the past year, collaborations with Wespath Benefits and Investments, Franklin Templeton, and other major firms continue to innovate the DCLI space, while the PRT team nearly doubled assets under management and recorded its largest transaction to date in terms of premium and participant count.

The focus on DCLI and PRT has been fueled by the rapid growth in the division’s Global Institutional Investment Group (GIIG) led by Senior Vice President Joe Krum. As a leading global player in the Funding Agreement-Backed Note market, the group brings an international reach to the division with transactions in eight currencies and the support of institutional investors in 22 different countries. In 2021, the team introduced Pacific Life’s “Sustainable Bond Framework” and issued the U.S. insurance industry’s largest ESG-designated bond offering. In addition to Funding

Agreements, Pacific Life’s GIIG is also a recognized innovator in Institutional Fixed Annuities and provides the largest insurance funding vehicle within the HSA market. Rounding out the GIIG product line-up, Pacific Life’s Stable Value Wrap program has been an industry leader for 31 years and is currently the sixth largest in the industry.

Woolfolk notes that the Institutional Business has surpassed many of the aspirational goals it established in 2019, including assets under management, profitability, and major technology and administrative upgrades. The team has achieved remarkable growth and takes great pride in contributing to Pacific Life’s financial strength, rich culture, and long legacy.

“Pacific Life's Institutional Business is dedicated to delivering the innovative solutions our customers need, with the exceptional customer service that is synonymous with Pacific Life,” said

Woolfolk. “As we grow, achieve, and scale, our ongoing commitment is to surpass customer expectations and stand as leaders in the DCLI, stable value, HSA, PRT, and funding agreements markets.”

For more information about Pacific Life, please visit

About Pacific Life
Pacific Life provides a variety of products and services designed to help individuals and businesses in the retail, institutional, workplace benefits, and reinsurance markets achieve financial security. Whether your goal is to protect loved ones or grow your assets for retirement, Pacific Life offers innovative life insurance and annuity solutions, as well as mutual funds, that provide value and financial security for current and future generations. Supporting our policyholders for more than 150 years, Pacific Life is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Newport Beach, California. For additional company information, including current financial strength ratings, visit

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Pacific Life is a product provider. It is not a fiduciary and therefore does not give advice or make recommendations regarding insurance or investment products.

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Pacific Life refers to Pacific Life Insurance Company and its affiliates, including Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Insurance products can be issued in all states, except New York, by Pacific Life Insurance Company or Pacific Life & Annuity Company. In New York, insurance products are only issued by Pacific Life & Annuity Company. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurance company is solely responsible for the financial obligations accruing under the products it issues.

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