2023 Annual Report: Reaching New Heights

Reaching New Heights

Introduction

In a year when economic uncertainty was the norm, Ullico not only experienced success — it reached new heights.

The company finished 2023 with record assets under management. Its property and casualty Professional Liability program premiums, and its life and health gross written premiums also reached recent highs.

Speaking of heights, the JFK International Airport New Terminal One (NTO) project, boosted by Ullico’s participation, has taken off. As the largest P3 project in the country, NTO has become a model for the way governments, private capital, and communities can successfully collaborate to build and rebuild infrastructure around the world.

Moreover, Union Labor Life’s consistent, long-term success has been recognized with an upgrade from AM Best, the world’s oldest insurance rating and information source. The upgrade, another new height, is not just a reflection of what the company has achieved. It is also an indication of what’s ahead, a sign that great things are on the horizon.

Record Earnings

Ullico generated record pre-tax operating earnings of $68.6 million in 2023.

Shareholder Liquidity

Ullico repurchased $20.6 million of company stock between 2019 – 2023.

Impressive Highs

Third-party investment assets under management, property and casualty professional liability program premiums, and life and health gross written premiums reached recent or record highs in 2023.

Value Delivered

$53.1 Million

in Net Income

$406 Million

Revenue (Net Earned Premiums + Fee Income)

$38.93

Book Value Per Share (As of 12/31/23)

$5 Million

Repurchase of Ullico Stock

18%

Return on Equity

Letter from Chairman and CEO

As leaders of Labor’s company, we are so proud of what Ullico represents and the union affinity we serve. We find inspiration each day knowing that the Ullico Family of Companies is helping working people live better, more secure lives.

2023 was an exciting year for the labor movement. Unions flexed their muscles, earning robust wage gains through work stoppages and contract negotiations across diverse sectors—from autoworkers and healthcare workers to writers, actors, and teachers.

Ullico also achieved some impressive accomplishments in fiscal 2023. As this report highlights, we are more profitable than we have ever been. A key part of that success is executing on our long-term strategy to deliver quality products and timely solutions for the labor marketplace.

Over the course of 2023, our investment products provided competitive financial returns while also generating an impressive economic impact for the labor movement. Our responsible contractor policy is considered to be industry-leading and is helping to strengthen communities across the country by promoting family-supporting union jobs, inclusive workforces, and opportunities for life-long careers. The JFK New Terminal One project isn’t just delivering a world-class airport terminal for New York, it is providing a paycheck and a sense of pride to everyone who shows up at the jobsite.

“… we are more profitable
than we have ever been.”

Our Life & Health division is protecting unions and their members with innovative products tailored to the Taft-Hartley marketplace. In a world where exceptionally high-cost claims are increasingly common, our medical stop loss insurance is protecting health and welfare funds.

To complement our group insurance products, we also launched Ullico Select, an insurance marketplace for union members and their families. It has been exciting to see the idea of Ullico Select become a reality this year and we can’t wait to see where the next year takes us.

Ullico Casualty Group, LLC is another example of the Ullico family of companies bringing value to the union affinity. In addition to our flagship professional lines solutions, our Alternative Dispute Resolution program is delivering better outcomes for union workers injured on the job while lowering worker compensation costs—helping union contractors to be more competitive.

There was a lot to celebrate in 2023, but we entered 2024 with heavy hearts. Our former Chairman and CEO, Ed Smith, passed away on January 3, 2024. In his thirteen years at the helm, Ed set the foundation for this company’s recent record-setting success and was a dear friend and colleague to both of us and many others in this company. Please take the time to read the “In Memoriam” section below and to watch the Ed Smith tribute video.

In closing, we can boast that Ullico is capitalism done right. We are a mission-driven company that is making profits for our shareholders while serving our stakeholders. At Ullico, we respect work—and we are so proud of the work this company accomplished in 2023.

Brian J. Hale

CEO and President

Terry O’Sullivan

Chairman of the Board

Discover Our Difference

Historic Success

For nearly a century, our insurance products have served millions of working people. Our investment products deliver competitive risk-adjusted returns.

 

Pro-Worker

Our investment products help create good union jobs. Our insurance products are tailored for unions, their leaders, signatory employers, and members.

 

A Good Citizen

Socially responsible investing is core to our investment philosophy. Employment diversity is crucial to our success. Our charitable giving defends unions and supports the disadvantaged.

Group and supplemental insurance for union members

Insurance for trustees and union leaders

Asset management services and union-friendly investment solutions

Life & Health

Union Labor Life continued to promote stability for millions of American workers by providing affordable insurance coverage to union members and their families. In 2023, AM Best, the world’s oldest insurance rating and information source, upgraded Union Labor Life’s Financial Strength Rating to “A” (Excellent).

An “A” rating from AM Best recognizes Union Labor Life’s strong financial stability and competitive positioning. Because many public employee health plans require an A rating, Union Labor Life’s achievement creates business opportunities that were previously inaccessible.

During the past year, Union Labor Life retained 94% of its current group life insurance business and on average covered more than 1.2 million members. In 2023, Union Labor Life paid over $47.8 million in group life insurance claims.

Union Labor Life also maintained its leadership role in providing medical stop loss coverage to health and welfare funds. The Life & Health division achieved $26.6 million in new stop loss sales and retained 92.5% of its policyholders.

The International Union stop loss dividend program allows health and welfare funds to receive dividends based on annual premium and/or claims experience. From the program’s inception in 2012 to the end of 2023, Union Labor Life has paid $44.1 million in dividends to health and welfare funds participating in these stop loss programs.

Life & Health also announced the launch of Ullico Select, a marketplace for individuals that offers supplemental life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, pet insurance, and other products that protect and empower union workers and their families.

Value Delivered

$345.2 Million

Gross Written Premium, A Recent New High

$26.6 Million

in New Stop Loss Sales

92.5%

Percentage of Stop Loss Policy Holders Retained

$6.1 Million

Paid Dividends to Participating Health and Welfare Funds

Property & Casualty

Ullico Casualty Group, LLC (UCG) demonstrated its unmatched commitment to safeguarding union leaders and multiemployer fund fiduciaries from personal liability. By updating coverages and loss control services as exposures evolve, UCG’s expert underwriters and claims professionals help protect our policyholders.

In 2023, Professional Liability program premiums reached a record $87.1 million, with 98% of policies renewing.

UCG continued to enhance the products it offers to the union marketplace. The company teamed with Great American Insurance Group to offer a commercial lines insurance program designed specifically for union halls, trust fund offices, joint apprenticeship training committees and other union-related organizations.

Value Delivered

$87.1 Million

Program Premium, A New High

$3.9 Million

In Professional Liability New Business

22%

Premium Growth for Commercial Lines Programs

Investment Services

Ullico’s Investment Services division offers investment products and services specifically designed for the union marketplace and employee benefit plans. The division’s signature real estate and infrastructure products offer investors the opportunity to earn competitive risk-adjusted returns while promoting union job creation.

During calendar year 2023, Ullico’s Investment Services division increased its assets under management (AUM) by approximately $1.1 billion to reach $10.6 billion as of December 31, 2023.

Ullico Infrastructure Fund (UIF)
UIF finished calendar year 2023 with $5.3 billion in AUM. The portfolio consisted of 25 portfolio investments covering over 700 assets throughout North America, including JFK International Airport’s New Terminal One, the largest public private partnership in the United States. UIF has investments across all major sectors, including wind, solar, natural gas energy generation, electricity transmission, water distribution and wastewater collection and treatment, and transportation and social infrastructure.

New portfolio investments for 2023 included Upstate Transmission Holdings, an indirect owner of the Volney-Marcy transmission line in New York. UIF also expanded its long-standing partnership with D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments with a $250 million long-term financing facility to help fund development and construction of utility-scale, union-built renewable energy projects.

Responding to investment needs for the nation’s infrastructure, UIF was established in 2010 to assist in the construction, maintenance and refurbishment of America’s infrastructure. Since its creation, UIF has experienced significant growth in its AUM, its deal opportunity pipeline, and investor interest.

UIF’s objectives are to provide investors with appropriate risk-adjusted returns, promote the creation of union jobs, and contribute to economic growth in the nation’s communities.

Real Estate Debt Group (REDG)

Ullico’s real estate debt products, including its flagship Separate Account J (J for Jobs), have provided more than $21 billion in loan financings for more than 550 projects since inception in 1977. In 2023, REDG invested $627 million in seven projects. Including loan participations from other lenders, total financing amounted to over $1.1 billion for these projects.

An independent economic impact study performed by Pinnacle Economics indicates that construction financed by these loans will generate significant economic activity, including the creation of over 3,700 jobs and 7.5 million working hours. Since its inception, J for Jobs has created over 345,000 jobs and nearly 700 million working hours for union workers.

Ullico’s real estate debt products are managed for Union Labor Life by the Real Estate Debt Group of Ullico Investment Advisors. The real estate debt products ended the calendar year with over $4.1 billion in AUM.

Real Estate Equity Group (REEG)
In 2023, Ullico created the Real Estate Equity Group (REEG), a commercial real estate investment advisory team managing investment strategies to meet the needs of institutional investors. REEG will invest across multiple markets and property types with the goal of generating attractive and consistent risk-adjusted returns. REEG’s first product, the “Ullico Value-Add Real Estate Fund I, LP”, is a closed-end fund that invests alongside high-quality operating partners in real estate assets with value-creation potential.

UIA Investment Management (UIA-IM)
Launched in 2018, UIA-IM managed $1.1 billion in fixed income assets at 2023 year-end. Twenty-four benefit plans and other institutional investors participate in our fixed income strategies through commingled funds or individually managed accounts, which are advised by UIA-IM. As an affiliated investment platform, UIA-IM complements Ullico’s Investment Services division’s in-house capabilities by providing focused fixed income investment management services to institutional plan sponsors. The firm is particularly well suited for assisting multi employer pension funds participating in the Special Financial Assistance program, which is estimated to provide approximately $80 billion in assistance to eligible plans, restoring retirement benefits to over 3 million American workers, retirees, and their families.

Value Delivered

$10.6 Billion

In Assets Under Management (AUM) — During Calendar Year 2023

Investment Services Increased AUM By Approximately

$1.1 Billion

$627 Million

REDG Invested in 7 Projects in 2023

$5.3 Billion

UIF Assets Under Management at Year-End 2023

Launched

Ullico Value-Add Real Estate Fund

Supporting the American Labor Movement

As a mission-driven company, Ullico is committed to giving back to the labor movement and empowering the communities in which we work and live. To honor that commitment, the Ullico Family of Companies contributed over half a million dollars to a diverse array of nonprofit organizations and charitable causes in 2023.

$228,300

COMMUNITY

$195,500

EDUCATION

$51,700

HEALTH & WELLNESS

$51,252

MILITARY

$55,252

WORKERS’ RIGHTS

In Memoriam: Edward M. Smith

Edward M. Smith (1954-2024) passed away with his family at his side on January 3, 2024.

A champion of the American Labor Movement with a visionary business mind, Ed Smith left a tremendous impact on the labor world and touched the lives of many.

Smith joined Ullico in 2008 when the company was facing serious financial obstacles. Undaunted, he assembled an experienced management team, supported their creativity and initiative, and worked hard to redouble the company’s commitment to the labor movement. His bold leadership set the company up to reach new heights during his tenure and for years to come.


Ed Smith will be dearly missed, but his profound impact on Ullico and its employees, the labor movement, and those around him will live on through his accomplishments and the countless stories told by all those whose lives he touched.