It's been a banner year so far for New York Life, not just with a resurgence in product sales, but also with a particularly strong showing in agent recruitment.

On Tuesday, the company announced first half 2012 gains in sales of insurance, annuities and mutual funds, the biggest success being an 18 percent increase in sales of recurring premium whole life insurance.

Sales of individual recurring premium life insurance were also up 4 percent, and even long-term care insurance – a channel that has seen the departure of several major players from the business this year, citing mounting costs - saw sales increase 17 percent.

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