Jane A. Hays

Managing Director

Jane is an advanced life insurance expert with over twenty-two years leadership in all aspects of The Downey Group’s services.  She works closely with clients, decision makers and other advisors in life insurance analysis and planning for a variety of highly successful individuals and families, companies and organizations. Jane has deep experience implementing life insurance in combination with other tax and economically efficient strategies for wealth creation and preservation, business succession and continuity, asset protection, and philanthropy.   She has guided all aspects of The Downey Group’s marketing and operations, including client consultation, analysis, policy design, underwriting, compliance, communications, and service.  Jane has exceptional industry knowledge of the advanced life insurance marketplace, and relationships with top life insurance advisors, executives, insurers, industry organizations, and thought leaders throughout the U.S.   She is uniquely exposed to sound modern trends and developments and evolving technology, products, distribution channels, organizations, education, tax and legal decisions that potentially impact and present opportunities for our clients.

Jane is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU).  Formerly a longtime partner in private law practice, she was principal outside counsel to the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS). Later, she served for a decade on the Board of Trustees of SURS, including tenure on the Executive, Investment, Audit, and Legislative Committees.

Jane is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and of the University of Illinois College of Law (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif).

Jane currently serves on the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Illinois (and Executive Committee); Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation (and Executive Committee); the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE); and the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) (and Executive Committee).  She is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee of the University of Illinois College of Law (former chair of the Board of Visitors); the Investment Committee of the American Dental Association Foundation; and the Advisory Board of University of Illinois Laboratory High School.   Jane is a past member of the Board and officer of many other organizations, has received numerous awards for leadership, served on search committees and lead fund raising efforts for a variety of charities, and has written, spoken, and taught for many audiences and for the University of Illinois College of Law.

Jane lives in both Champaign and Chicago with her husband, Dave Downey.  She has three grown children who live in Champaign and Chicago.