NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE TO KEEP 697 HMO JOBS IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE TO KEEP 697 HMO JOBS IN NEW YORK

New York Life Insurance Co. said it would keep almost 700 employees of its managed-care subsidiary in New York and bring over 109 more from its Fort Lee, N.J., office.

An additional 200 employees at New York Life's headquarters will remain, the company said. It plans to move downtown to a new headquarters at One Liberty Plaza in lower Manhattan.The insurer said it would be combining its Group Department and its Sanus Corp. Health Systems subsidiary into a new company, NYLCare Health Plans Inc.

Under the terms of a 10-year agreement, the new company will receive a package of $3.7 million in sales-tax benefits for building improvements and the purchase of machinery and equipment, of which $1.8 million will come from the city. The lease was negotiated by the New York City Economic Development Corp. and approved by the city's Industrial Development Agency.

New York Life's decision to keep jobs in New York pleased the city's mayor, Rudolph Guiliani.

"This major comeback of the business world locating in our city is a stupendous rejuvenation for us, the people of New York," he said in a statement. "In this case, we're saving 697 jobs, bringing in another 109 from New Jersey and holding onto important tax revenues.

"But we're also helping to revitalize and strengthen the economy and the city in which we live."

Harry Hohn, New York Life's chairman and chief executive, said that the 150-year-old company was "founded in the downtown business district, and NYLCare's location on One Liberty Plaza completes the circle."