Indexed universal life insurance showed up in the early 90's to a somewhat mixed reception. For years it was a relatively obscure product, made available by a minority of insurance companies. But then, the 00's turned out to be a really boring decade and the buy-and-hold mantra was starting to show signs of ware.
So, many companies that threw mutuality to curb in the 90's and early 00's (and even a few that didn't) turned to a new idea that would entice market hungry “investors” whose stomaches were turned inside out by a decade with not one but two recession. Actually, in all fairness the second recession came a few years after the popular adoption of the new product.