Jane A. Hays

Managing Director

Jane is an advanced life and disability insurance professional with over two decades leadership in all aspects of The Downey Group’s services. Jane’s practice focus is implementing 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, case analysis, policy design, underwriting, compliance, communications, and service. Jane has exceptional industry knowledge of the advanced life and disability insurance marketplace, and relationships with top life insurance advisors, executives, insurers, industry organizations, and thought leaders throughout the U.S.   She understands sound trends, evolving technology, products, distribution channels, and regulations 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; Clark-Lindsey Village; and the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC). 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) and the Advisory Board of University of Illinois Laboratory High School. Jane has served on the Board of many other organizations, including, for example, The Carle Foundation, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and United Way of Champaign County; 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 beloved children, but her favorite humans are her two grandsons. She also loves to travel, read, get together with friends, and be active.