Money Talk

Episode 85

David J. Downey

Host Ed Sutkowski talks with David J. Downey an All American, All Big Ten, University of Illinois Basketball Star, and Founder & President of The Downey Group, Inc.

While a student at the University of Illinois, David J. Downey was a star basketball player and as part of the 100th Anniversary of Illinois Basketball Celebration, was chosen as a member of the All Century Team. In addition to being selected by his teammates as Illinois’ Most Valuable Player three consecutive years, he was named All Big 10 and All American and won the Big 10 Conference Medal of Honor for Proficiency in Scholarship and Athletics. He still holds the single game scoring record – 53 points – set in 1963 when he led the basketball team to a Big Ten Championship.

After admission to the Illinois Bar in 1966, Dave received his Chartered Life Underwriter designation the same year and decided to continue his career in life insurance. Today, he is one of fewer than 20 individuals in the world to have qualified to the Top of the Table for the entire period of its existence. He has served as national President of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (1984) and as International President of the Top of the Table (1980). He has testified on behalf of the life insurance industry before Congress, the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and FASB.

Dave, founder of The Downey Group, Inc., has over 40 years’ experience as a life insurance producer. A native of Canton, Illinois, he became an agent for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1962, while still an undergraduate. He received his Bachelor of Science in 1963 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Juris Doctorate degree in 1966 from the University of Illinois College of Law.

The Downey Group, Inc. became a member of the M Financial Group in 1983. Dave is currently a member of the Board of Directors of M Financial Holdings and of M Life Insurance Company, a reinsurance company. He is a frequent speaker at local, state and national meetings of lawyers, accountants, life insurance agents and various business groups. Dave has conducted seminars in 42 states and 10 foreign countries and spoken at annual meeting s of the Million Dollar Round Table, the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters, the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, the National Association of Life Underwriters, the International Forum and Top of the Table.

Dave is presently a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board, where he is Chair of the Investment Policy Committee, and the University of Illinois College of Business Board of Overseers. He is a board member of First Busey Corporation and The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, Inc. Formerly, he was a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, and the University of Illinois Athletic Board. He is a University of Illinois Adjunct Professor of Finance.

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