NEW YORK CITY-The New York Life Insurance Co. will relocate roughly 25% of its Manhattan staff out of the city, company officials tell The firm says its decision to decentralize was based on the possibility of a catastrophic event hobbling its operations here, and that Westchester and New Jersey are both on its radar screen as potential satellite office locations.

While the firm insists it will retain its NYC headquarters, it is considering suburban locations for approximately 1,000 of its 4,000 Manhattan workers. The firm occupies the bulk of the space at its 51 Madison Ave., headquarters, a 1 million-sf landmark property owned by the company. The firm leases another 400,000 sf or so across the street at 63 Madison Ave.

“Like many companies, following 9/11 we conducted a comprehensive review of our exposure to catastrophe,” company officials said in a statement released to “One obvious factor is that the two buildings that comprise our Home Office complex are across the street from one another, and the bulk of our employees are housed in these buildings. In all, we have 7,500 employees in the United States, and 4,000 of that total are based in Manhattan.

“To reduce our exposure to catastrophe we have concluded that an additional location in the metro New York area would be prudent and we are looking at a number of locations in order to find one suitable for approximately 25 percent of our 4,000 Manhattan-based employees. At this point, we have talked with some brokers and are actively looking at possibilities in Westchester County and in New Jersey.

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