Hugh T. McCormick


Hugh T. McCormick advises domestic and international insurance and reinsurance companies, as well as other participants in the insurance industry, such as investment banks, on regulatory, corporate and tax matters arising in connection with mergers and acquisitions, reinsurance transactions, restructurings and financing transactions. He was a principal member of AXA's legal team in the demutualization and acquisition of interests in The Equitable Life Insurance Society of the United States, and was similarly involved in later demutualization transactions. He has represented insurers and reinsurers in numerous transactions, including surplus enhancing transactions, transfers of large books of insurance business, and reinsurance-based healthcare joint ventures. He was involved in the first life insurance XXX reserve financing transaction in South Carolina in 2003, and in subsequent transactions in Delaware, Vermont and Ireland. His experience also includes insurance insolvency matters, including the rehabilitation of the Baldwin-United insurance subsidiaries and the Executive Life Insurance Company insolvency, and he was involved in the acquisition of an insolvent life insurer in Japan. He is a co-author of an actuarial textbook, Insurance Industry Mergers & Acquisitions, and has published articles on insurance securitization.

Mr. McCormick has advised insurers, reinsurers, captive insurers and healthcare organizations, such as HMOs, as well as commercial and investment banks, on a variety of regulatory issues involved in financing transactions, including the issues that arise under insurance holding company system laws, as well as issues for lenders that arise under insurance insolvency laws.

Mr. McCormick also represents insurers, intermediaries and buyers in the corporate-owned life insurance (COLI), bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) markets in the U.S., and in the domestic and offshore private placement variable life insurance and annuity markets, and advises fund managers on tax issues for funds offered as investment options under variable insurance products. He also advises insurance and reinsurance companies in the offshore markets on U.S. tax and regulatory compliance issues.

Legal 500 United States notes that "Clients recommend New York’s Hugh McCormick who is 'professional and approachable' with 'deep life insurance knowledge, experience and expertise.'" He was honored with the 2016 Client Choice Award by Lexology/ILO in the area of insurance and reinsurance for New York.

For many years Mr. McCormick was primary outside counsel to Scottish Life and Annuity Holdings Ltd, later Scottish Re Group Limited, a global life reinsurance and wealth management company. In addition to his legal representation of Scottish Re, in 2005 he became executive vice president for corporate development (and member of the executive committee). While in that position, he was involved in M&A transactions and reinsurance operations in the U.S., Europe, Singapore, Tokyo and China. He provided assistance to the Irish Financial Regulator in developing regulations governing the use of special purpose reinsurance vehicles for securitization purposes under the EU Reinsurance Directive and to the Monetary Authority or Singapore with respect to similar regulations, and was involved in IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) projects on risk transfer and securitization.

From 1977 to 1981 Mr. McCormick was an attorney-advisor with the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service. He has an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University (1980), a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, Newark (1977), and a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1968).

Representative Matters

  • Advised Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company of Japan on U.S. insurance and retirement product matters in its $5 billion acquisition of StanCorp Financial Group, which is the parent of Standard Insurance Company and other subsidiaries.
  • Conducted life insurance product due diligence and advised on related SPA matters in connection with Tokyo-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited's $5.7 billion acquisition of Protective Life Corporation (2015).
  • Scottish Re Group Limited in the sale of its Wealth Management business to Northstar Financial Services (2008).
  • Scottish Re in its acquisition of ING Re’s individual life reinsurance business (2004).
  • Scottish Re in the acquisition of Harbourton Reassurance Inc. (U.S.) (1999), ERC Reinsurance Corporation (U.S.) (2003), and World Wide Holdings Limited (U.K.) (2001).
  • AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in its sale of its individual disability business to Centre Life Insurance Company (2000).
  • Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in structuring a reinsurance-based managed care and insurance joint venture with Physician’s Health Services (1995).
  • U.S. Healthcare (now Aetna) in the acquisition of Adirondack Life Insurance Company (now Aetna Health Insurance Company of New York) (1990), and service on the Board of Directors of the New York company.

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance and Reinsurance
  • Insurance Tax (Company and Products)
  • Insurance Regulatory Matters
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions


  • New York
  • Maine

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient of Lexology/International Law Office Client Choice Award for Insurance and Reinsurance (New York), 2016
  • Referenced in Legal 500 U.S.- Leading Lawyers for Insurance: Advice to Insurers 2015

Professional Activities

  • Society of Actuaries
    - Reinsurance Section
    - Tax Section
  • AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society (ARIAS–U.S.)
  • North East Tax Study (NETS) Group
  • Insurance Tax Conference, Board of Directors, 1994-2004
    - President and Chairman of the Board, 2002-2004

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Society of Actuaries Life and Annuity Reinsurance Seminar, New York, 2017
  • M.S. in Actuarial Science Program at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, 2016 and 2017
  • ReFocus (Life Reinsurance Conference), Las Vegas 2008-2014 and 2017 (speaker and moderator)
  • American Conference Institute's 13th National Forum on Insurance Regulation, New York, February 27, 2017
  • Society of Actuaries Meetings, 1993, 2000, 2002, 2016
  • Society of Actuaries' Advanced Reinsurance Seminar, Rosemont, Illinois, August 15, 2016
  • American Conference Institute's 12th National Forum on Insurance Regulation, New York, 2016
  • American Conference Institute's 4th Annual Advanced Forum on Captive Insurance, New York, 2016
  • PKF New York Captive Conference, New York, 2016
  • American Conference Institute's 11th National Forum on Insurance Regulation, New York, 2016
  • American Conference Institute's 10th National Forum on Insurance Regulation, New York, 2015
  • European Insurance Forum, Dublin, 2013
  • Asian Life Insurance Summit, Hanoi, 2008
  • Natural Catastrophe Risk Insurance Mechanisms for Asia and the Pacific, Tokyo, 2008 (moderator)
  • Pacific Insurance Conference, Kuala Lumpur, 2007
  • IAIS Annual Meeting, Beijing, China, 2006
  • Global Life Insurance Securitization Conference, Asia, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong, 2006
  • European Insurance Forum, Dublin, 2006
  • ABS West, 2006
  • International Symposium on Corporate Governance for Insurance Companies, Beijing, 2005
  • Insurance Tax Conference and Federal Bar Association Insurance Tax Seminar, 1987-2004
  • American Conference Institute, Legal and Strategic Forum on Life Reinsurance, 2007-2010