Pacific Life

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Pacific Life Insurance Company
Company typeFinancial services. Private
IndustryInsurance; life insurance, annuities, investment products
Founded1868; 156 years ago (1868)
FounderLeland Stanford
HeadquartersNewport Beach, California
Key people
Darryl Button (President;CEO)
Number of employees
3,950[1] (2023)
ParentPacific Mutual

Pacific Life Insurance Company is an American insurance company.


Pacific Mutual Life was founded in 1868 by former California Governor, Leland Stanford in Sacramento, California.[2] Stanford also was the first policy holder of the company. After Stanford died and his university (Stanford University) was strapped for money, his wife used the money from the policy to pay for professors. Starting in 1885, Pacific Mutual Life began issuing accident insurance,[3] which was an innovative move for a life insurance company at the time. In 1906, Pacific Mutual Life merged with Conservative Life,[3] a Los Angeles–based life insurance company. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Pacific Mutual Life's board of directors moved the company to Los Angeles. Since 2005, the company is domiciled in the state of Nebraska.[4]

Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Building, Olive Street and Sixth Street, Los Angeles, c. 1909; one of the earliest designs by Parkinson and Bergstrom[5]

During the Great Depression, the company was hit with hard times and in 1936 in an effort to save both the policy holders and the company the insurance commissioner, Samuel L. Carpenter, encouraged the policy holders to become part owners of the company through mutualization.[6]

In 1955, Pacific Mutual Life became the first company west of the Mississippi River to use the brand new technology of Univac I.[7] At Pacific Mutual Life's one-hundredth birthday the company celebrated with keynote speaker Ronald Reagan. In 1971, the company started Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO). The company moved its headquarters to their current Newport Beach, California, location in 1972 when management decided that Newport Beach would provide a higher standard of living for their families.

In 1997, the company dropped mutual from its name, changing it to Pacific Life Insurance Company. This reflects the company structure's change from a mutual ownership to a mutual holding company structure. Also in 1997, the company adopted the humpback whale as symbol of the company because of the whale's persistence, performance, and strength.[8]

In 2001, Pacific Life became majority shareholder of Aviation Capital Group (ACG) which owns, manages, and leases commercial jet aircraft internationally, and offers aircraft asset management services.[9] In August 2019, ACG said its equity value was $3.6 billion. In September 2019, it was reported that Pacific Life Insurance will sell its aviation unit for an estimated $3 billion to minority stockholder Tokyo Century Group, which owns 24.5% of Aviation Capital Group. The sale was completed on December 5, 2019.[10]

On May 30, 2007, Pacific Asset Management was created. Pacific Asset Management offers advisory services and institutional fixed income management. Pacific Asset Management focuses on credit oriented fixed income. Pacific Asset Management's investment team manages bank loans, high yield corporate bonds, investment grade bonds and money market securities. Pacific Asset Management provides their clients the ability to invest with an entrepreneurial, boutique investment group focused on fundamental credit analysis and supported by the scale and infrastructure of Pacific Life. Pacific Asset Management currently manages registered investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940 as well as separate accounts.[11] On April 17, 2023, Pacific Life completed the sale of Pacific Asset Management to Aristotle Capital Management, LLC [12]

The Pacific Life Foundation was established in 1984 and is headquartered in Newport Beach, California. Together with Pacific Life, the Foundation has contributed more than $142 million to community and national nonprofit organizations. Grants are made to organizations that address a broad spectrum of social needs.

In 2017, Pacific Life launched Swell Investing, a subsidiary focused purely on impact investing.[13] The company facilitated investments in businesses that follow the guidelines of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.[14] Founded in 2017, it was a financially backed subsidiary of Pacific Life. It was the first investment platform to focus exclusively on impact investment principles.[15] Swell was not able to achieve the scale needed to sustain investment independent operations. As a result, on August 30, 2019, Swell was closed.[16]

In 2020, Pacific Life confirmed the addition of Louise Pentland, executive vice president and chief business and legal officer of PayPal, Inc., to the board of Pacific Mutual Holding Company, Pacific Life Insurance Company's ultimate parent company. She started her term as of August 1, 2020.[17]

On April 1, 2022, Darryl Button assumed the role of president and CEO, becoming the 15th chief executive in Pacific Life's 154-year history, following Jim Morris' planned retirement.

On May 19, 2022, Pacific Life announced its intent to enter the workforce benefits marketplace.[18]


  1. ^ "Pacific Life". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2022-01-22. Retrieved 2024-04-12.
  2. ^ "Pacific Life: Day One". Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  3. ^ a b Hunt, Janet. "Review of Pacific Life Insurance". The Balance. Archived from the original on 2020-02-09. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  4. ^ "Moving on Up". Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  5. ^ "PacMutual | Los Angeles Conservancy". Archived from the original on 2022-01-28. Retrieved 2022-01-28.
  6. ^ "The Right Person for the Wrong Time". Archived from the original on 2021-01-19. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  7. ^ "Welcoming the Future with UNIVAC". Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  8. ^ "About Pacific Life, Our Brand Icon: The Humpback Whale". Pacific Life. 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  9. ^ "History". Aviation Capital Group. Archived from the original on 2018-11-26. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  10. ^ "Pacific Life Completes Sale of Aviation Capital Group to Tokyo Century Corporation". December 5, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2019-12-06.
  11. ^ "PAM: About Us". Archived from the original on 2021-03-02. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  12. ^ "Press Release". Retrieved 2023-04-17.
  13. ^ Newhard, Ali (23 July 2018). "This socially responsible investing platform considers how companies make their money". Business Insider. Insider Inc. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  14. ^ Newhard, Ali (23 July 2018). "This socially responsible investing platform considers how companies make their money". Business Insider. Insider Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  15. ^ O'Malley Greenburg, Zack (6 December 2017). "Middle Mensch: Meet the Man Making Impact Investing Swell". Forbes. U.S News & Report L.P. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Swell Investing Homepage". Archived from the original on 3 September 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Pacific Mutual Holding Company Announces Appointment of Louise Pentland of PayPal, Inc. to its Board of Directors". businesswire. 3 August 2020. Archived from the original on 23 December 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Pacific Life Announces Plans to Enter Workforce Benefits Market". 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.

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