David J. Downey, 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.
After admission to the Illinois Bar in 1966, Mr. Downey received his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) 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 for 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 represented the life insurance industry before Congress, the Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and FASB.
The Downey Group, Inc. became a member of the M Financial Group in 1983. Mr. Downey served as 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. He has conducted seminars in 42 states and 10 foreign countries, and spoken at annual meetings 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.
Mr. Downey is currently a board member of First Busey Corporation, and a life member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board. Formerly, he served on the board of The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, Inc., was a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, the University of Illinois Athletic Board, the University of Illinois College of Business Board of Overseers, and a University of Illinois Adjunct Professor of Finance. While a student at the University of Illinois, Mr. 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. In 2018, Dave was inducted into the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame.