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A big boost: the buyout of Allstate's variable annuity book makes Prudential the second-largest U.S. life insurer based on admitted assets, bumping AIG to third.

Prudential Financial Inc.'s acquisition in June 2006 of the variable annuity business of Allstate Financial helped boost it to the second-largest U.S. life insurer based on admitted assets, climbing a notch from the No. 3 position in 2005.

Prudential of America Group's admitted assets in 2006 stood at $368.6 billion, up from admitted assets of nearly $331 billion in 2005, according to financial results compiled by A.M. Best Co. Prudential bumped AIG Life Group, part of American International Group Inc. from the second-place position that it held in 2005. AIG Life is now the third-biggest U.S. life insurer based on admitted assets of $350.3 billion.

Andrew Edelsberg, assistant vice president of life/health for A.M. Best Co., said Prudential acquired the Allstate business through a reinsurance transaction for a total consideration of $635 million, comprised mostly of a $628 million ceding commission, he said.

As for AIG dropping to third, its retirement services division experienced higher surrenders of fixed annuities in 2006, "a trend that was consistent among many of the major fixed-annuity players," Edelsberg said.

Metropolitan Life & Affiliated Cos., part of MetLife Inc., continued its reign as the largest U.S. life insurer based on admitted assets of $445.9 billion in 2006.

Overall, the industry's total admitted assets stood at $4.8 trillion in 2006, an increase of nearly 8%, according to A.M. Best. But the industry is facing growth challenges. Whether trying to boost assets or premiums written, it's dealing with a "growth conundrum," said Howard Mills, chief adviser for the insurance industry group at Deloitte & Touche USA.

"If insurer X has identified Y as a good target, you can be certain that if X has identified Y as a likely target, then some others have as well--so it's going to impact what they're going to pay" said Mills, the former insurance superintendent of New York.

With limited aggregate growth in many lines of business in the life insurance and annuity markets, companies are turning to other means to grow assets, added Steve Bochanski, a consultant with Watson Wyatt's insurance and financial services practice.

"Companies often turn to M&A to make a quick gain--as Prudential did with the purchase of Allstate's VA block in 2006--or to divest of noncore operations," he said. The market has seen increased activity in this arena, but as buyers outnumber sellers, the asking price goes up, Bochanski said. "Companies need to show discipline to ensure any acquisition fits within broader strategic objectives."

Other changes occurred within the top 10. New York Life Group and ING USA Life Group switched rankings, according to A.M. Best. New York Life advanced to the No. 8 position, with 2006 admitted assets of $178.5 billion, climbing one spot from No. 9 in 2005, while ING USA Life dropped to ninth place, with admitted assets of $173.4 billion.

ING's ranking dropped mostly due to a change in its statutory reporting for the U.S. operations, said Edelsberg. Through February 2006, ING USA reported the results of its Taiwan life business through a Connecticut-domiciled entity; ING Life Insurance Company of America, he said. ING Life Insurance Company of America had about $12.5 billion in assets at year-end 2005.

In March of last year, ING Life Insurance Company of America entered into a de-merger plan where all business, assets and liabilities of its Taiwan branch were transferred to a newly formed subsidiary licensed in China, Edelsberg said. So the consolidated assets for year-end 2006 don't include ING Life Insurance Company of America, he said.
Admitted Assets, Top Life Writers, United States--2006 *
Rank is based on admitted assets for 2006.

($ Thousands)
 Admitted Assets

Metropolitan Life & Affiliated Cos $445,925,851
Prudential of America Group $368,594,628
AIG Life Group $350,283,392
Hartford Life Group $238,475,399
Manulife Finl $200,788,929
TIAA Group $186,565,270
Aegon USA Group $178,701,835
NY Life Group $178,471,272
ING USA Life Group $173,420,820
Axa Finl Group $148,681,659

 % Change

Metropolitan Life & Affiliated Cos 9.4%
Prudential of America Group 11.4%
AIG Life Group 2.7%
Hartford Life Group 16.6%
Manulife Finl 12.1%
Aegon USA Group 4.9%
NY Life Group 3.6%
ING USA Life Group 7.4%
Axa Finl Group 2.1%
Note: Table made from bar graph. 11.6%

 %
Rank Group Name AMB# Assets Change

1 Metropolitan Life & Affiliated 70192 $445,925,851 9.4
 Cos
2 Prudential of America Group 70189 368,594,628 11.4
3 AIG Life Group 70342 350,283,392 2.7
4 Hartford Life Group 70116 238,475,399 16.6
5 Manulife Finl 69542 200,788,929 12.1
6 TIAA Group 70362 186,565,270 4.9
7 Aegon USA Group 69707 178,701,835 3.6
8 NY Life Group 69714 178,471,272 7.4
9 ING USA Life Group 70153 173,420,820 2.1
10 Axa Finl Group 70194 148,681,659 11.6
11 Northwestern Mutual Group 69515 145,120,761 9.1
12 Lincoln AM Group 70351 144,165,556 10.1
13 Principal Life Ins Co 06150 125,532,325 12.3
14 MassMutual Finl Group 69702 122,179,588 7.6
15 Nationwide Life Group 70350 110,868,858 2.9
16 Allstate Finl 70106 91,003,916 3.1
17 Pacific Life Group 69720 87,629,116 15.3
18 Ameriprise Finl Group 69689 79,108,531 12.1
19 Jackson Nat Group 69578 69,406,665 10.3
20 Genworth Finl Group 69555 69,048,846 7.2
21 Allianz Ins Group 70187 63,647,436 18.4
22 Sun Life Finl Group 69740 58,671,671 5.1
23 Thrivent Finl for Lutherans 06008 52,538,897 3.4
24 Aflac Inc Group 69824 50,451,713 7.4
25 State Farm Life Group 70126 43,676,488 5.8
26 Great-West Life Group 70366 43,428,663 8.4
27 Guardian Life 69685 39,364,061 6.6
28 Aetna Inc 70202 33,872,991 11.0
29 Unum Group 69743 33,144,102 3.5
30 Protective Life Corp 69728 30,520,693 2.5
31 Aviva USA Group 70108 29,762,439 9.1
32 Western & Southern Finl Group 69754 28,967,350 3.9
33 Sammons Finl Group 69731 27,116,948 13.3
34 Swiss Reins Group 70176 26,893,581 -1.4
35 Conseco Ins Group 69862 26,557,245 4.9
36 Phoenix Life Group 70171 25,816,189 4.0
37 Cigna Group 70173 23,966,416 -11.8
38 Securian Finl Group 69763 22,208,094 2.8
39 Old Mutual Finl Network 70403 19,962,234 7.2
40 Symetra Life Group 70123 18,502,209 -2.5
41 GE Capital Svcs Group 70421 18,365,251 -4.3
42 Mutual of Omaha Group 70203 17,074,682 4.1
43 Kemper Investors Life Ins Co 06225 16,589,796 -4.2
44 Oneamerica Group 70399 15,724,402 5.7
45 Merrill Lynch Ins Group Inc 69908 15,516,798 1.6
46 Fidelity Investments Group 70020 14,893,816 11.0
47 UNIFI Group 69790 14,707,366 7.2
48 Amer Natl Group 70166 14,622,187 2.6
49 OH Natl Life Group 69717 13,552,340 9.2
50 Nat Life Group 69953 13,254,643 7.3
51 Knights of Columbus 06616 12,986,337 5.8
52 UnitedHealth Group 69973 12,816,774 36.9
53 Torchmark Corp 70265 12,615,576 4.4
54 Mutual of America Life Ins Co 08851 12,437,899 5.1
55 Cuna Mutual Group 70262 12,332,040 4.8
56 Security Benefit Group 69882 12,324,421 6.0
57 Standard Ins Group 70398 12,247,138 12.5
58 GAFRI Group 70220 11,773,309 5.0
59 Amer Equity Investment Group 70406 11,547,838 10.2
60 Assurant 70135 11,524,751 -13.5
61 Penn Mutual Group 69722 11,008,716 7.7
62 FBL Group 70209 10,955,008 21.3
63 Commonwealth Annuity & Life 08491 10,556,864 4.7
 Ins Co
64 Liberty Life Assur Co of 06627 10,457,191 15.9
 Boston
65 USAA Life Group 70364 10,440,726 -2.9
66 Southern Farm Bureau Group 70169 9,681,076 4.4
67 Modern Woodmen of America 06737 7,928,882 6.3
68 Employers Reassurance Corp 06976 7,644,238 43.1
69 Woodmen of the World Life 07259 7,465,154 3.5
70 Country Ins & Finl Svcs 70142 7,324,329 5.4
71 Farmers New World Life Ins Co 06373 6,966,390 3.3
72 Berkshire Hathaway Group 70158 6,167,692 9.8
73 Primerica Group 70183 6,054,350 2.2
74 Nat Western Life Ins Co 06811 5,962,810 5.4
75 Horace Mann Life Group 69919 5,116,136 9.7
76 Scottish Re Group 70418 4,718,146 11.8
77 Munich Amer Reassurance Co 06746 4,527,185 15.4
78 Americo Life Group 69676 4,489,931 -0.2
79 Continental Assur Co 06280 4,481,614 -12.0
80 Presidential Life Ins Co 06948 4,277,307 -4.1
81 WellPoint Group 70064 4,062,359 18.3
82 Kansas City Life Group 69692 3,953,071 -1.1
83 Liberty Life Ins Co 06175 3,770,946 0.7
84 Thrivent Life Ins Co 09342 3,731,231 -4.9
85 Amer Family Life Ins Co 06052 3,685,060 6.7
86 Beneficial Life Ins Co 06162 3,678,738 18.9
87 Forethought Finl Svcs 70375 3,589,753 4.8
88 Ullico Inc 70003 3,497,864 4.5
89 Humana Inc 69866 3,381,728 167.2
90 Aurora Natl Life Assur Co 06139 3,292,062 -1.9
91 Unitrin Life & Health Group 70340 3,221,169 1.9
92 Sentry Life Ins Group 70125 3,195,654 10.0
93 Combined A&H Group 70178 3,165,204 3.4
94 Amer Fidelity Group 69640 3,032,172 0.8
95 Reliance Standard Life Group 69825 3,031,778 12.2
96 Independent Order of Foresters 06551 2,826,258 0.1
 USB
97 Physicians Mutual Group 69724 2,554,294 2.3
98 Cincinnati Life Ins Co 06568 2,521,354 7.2
99 First Allmerica Finl Life 07086 2,375,920 -16.5
 Ins Co
100 Health Care Service Corp 69584 2,237,699 21.2
101 HSBC Ins Group 69620 2,200,566 -5.2
102 Scor Life US Group 70253 2,196,550 -7.9
103 Assurity Security Group 70066 2,158,992 2.2
104 Legal & Gen America, Inc 69539 2,094,857 0.6
105 Security Mutual Life Ins Co 07034 2,041,281 4.2
 of NY
106 Savings Bank Life Ins Co 06696 1,934,277 6.9
 of MA
107 Trustmark Ins Group 69845 1,846,635 4.4
108 Auto-Owners Life Ins Co 06140 1,840,812 9.2
109 Universal Amer Finl Corp 70021 1,750,145 40.0
110 NGL Ins Group 70358 1,719,046 3.1
111 Pan-Amer Life Group 69617 1,679,164 1.9
112 IN Farm Bureau Group 70368 1,679,145 2.5
113 Jefferson Natl Life Ins Co 06475 1,675,872 3.2
114 Centre Life Ins Co 07367 1,672,562 -0.9
115 Farm Bureau Life Ins Co of MI 06363 1,655,949 2.9
116 Capital Assur Group 70004 1,645,192 5.8
117 Citi Assur Svcs Group 70434 1,634,331 -6.1
118 Shenandoah Life Ins Co 07044 1,583,909 3.7
119 Healthmarkets 69860 1,575,974 -9.6
120 Erie Family Life Ins Co 07276 1,558,306 -2.1
121 Hannover Life Reassur America 68031 1,542,039 18.1
122 SBLI USA Group 60345 1,528,706 0.6
123 Wilton Re US Group 70435 1,439,532 0.3
124 United Life Ins Co 07178 1,393,179 -2.8
125 First Investors Life Ins Co 06413 1,339,038 7.9
126 Homesteaders Life Co 06534 1,337,914 11.7
127 AAA Life Group 70388 1,258,952 7.2
128 MTL Ins Co 06756 1,256,788 2.4
129 Gerber Life Ins Co 07299 1,242,847 12.9
130 IL Mutual Life Ins Co 06542 1,234,962 6.6
131 Gleaner Life Ins Society 06459 1,223,927 -3.6
132 TN Farmers Ins Group 69777 1,213,792 5.6
133 Penn Treaty Group 69981 1,142,156 1.5
134 Alfa Life Ins Corp 06293 1,050,768 7.7
135 Centurion Life Ins Co 06276 1,045,257 -3.4
136 Western United Life Assur Co 08077 1,011,611 -12.8
137 Independence Hldg Group 69756 991,416 3.1
138 Investors Life Ins Co of 06412 988,928 -2.7
 North America
139 BCBS of KS 70031 987,400 6.9
140 Regal Reins Group 70345 970,821 -1.7
141 Shelter Life Ins Co 06675 898,253 2.3
142 Amica Life Ins Co 07464 891,439 5.2
143 Boston Mutual Group 69993 889,577 7.0
144 XL Life Group 70431 869,765 4.2
145 Federated Life Ins Co 06381 868,678 6.5
146 Manhattan Ins Group 70357 809,858 -6.6
147 Baltimore Life Ins Co 06143 801,540 -0.5
148 Catholic Knights 08188 800,541 2.3
149 Pekin Ins Group 70155 794,525 4.3
150 Govt Personnel Mutual Life 06470 775,380 1.5
151 Axa Corporate Solutions Life 09083 770,303 15.6
 Reins
152 Generali USA Life Reassurance 09189 731,871 9.0
 Co
153 Amer Enterprise Group 70369 727,401 4.5
154 Vantislife Ins Co 07021 684,449 -4.0
155 EMC Natl Life Co 06339 679,905 -0.6
156 Catholic Life Ins 08827 650,447 4.1
157 Royal Neighbors of America 07010 647,990 3.0
158 AmerCo 70367 647,473 -8.7
159 BCBS of MS Group 70378 631,638 8.2
160 Columbian Finl Group 69961 615,618 7.4
161 Kanawha Ins Co 06604 608,840 5.8
162 Amer Amicable Group 70394 599,215 0.7
163 Lifetime Healthcare Inc 70054 579,478 19.1
164 Greek Catholic Union of the 09807 574,567 -0.2
 USA
165 Catholic Order of Foresters 06191 573,666 2.0
166 HCC Ins Group 70429 566,985 65.5
167 Citizens Inc Group 69688 561,889 8.3
168 Ozark Natl Life Ins Co 06877 554,238 6.1
169 Fidelity Lf Assn A Legal 06386 553,161 -4.5
 Reserve Life
170 Lincoln Heritage Life Ins Co 06694 549,256 6.8
171 Amer Reserve Group 70410 527,735 23.8
172 WEA Ins Corp 09506 516,790 8.0
173 First Catholic Slovak Ladies 09869 514,144 6.1
 USA
174 LifeCare Assur Co 09200 484,599 37.6
175 Sagicor Life Group 70354 481,373 -4.2
176 Fidelity Security Group 69925 480,682 2.4
177 Amer Fidelity Life Ins Co 06055 474,967 2.2
178 Farmers & Traders Life Ins Co 06375 473,361 -1.1
179 Funeral Directors Group 70016 466,840 8.9
180 Pacific Guardian Life Ins Co 06883 448,668 -1.0
 Ltd
181 Great Western Group 70384 434,434 12.2
182 New Era Group 70009 433,603 13.7
183 Medico Ins Group 20142 425,573 6.2
184 Greater Beneficial of 08161 420,457 4.4
 Pittsburgh
185 Mutual Savings Life Ins Co 06753 417,778 0.9
186 United Heritage Life Ins Co 06472 409,752 -0.1
187 Health Net Life Ins Co 06722 400,411 11.3
188 Universal Underwriters Life 07204 387,157 34.6
 Ins Co
189 Coventry Health Care Inc 70413 381,236 196.6
190 Crown Life Ins Co (US Branch) 09916 375,018 -0.5
191 Harleysville Life Ins Co 06517 372,677 -0.8
192 State Mutual Group 70437 369,906 0.6
193 Revios Reins US Inc 60212 361,700 6.1
194 Guar Income Life Ins Co 06504 354,021 1.7
195 Farm Bureau Life Ins Co of MO 06364 353,256 4.6
196 Mayflower Natl Life Ins Co 07305 347,639 14.0
197 HM Ins Group 70359 345,107 -24.0
198 Industrial-Alliance Pacific 09788 343,702 5.0
 Life Ins USB
199 Investors Heritage Life Ins Co 06580 336,727 -3.0
200 Unity Mutual Life Ins Co 07196 333,444 -6.8
 Total Top 200 $4,794,702,361 7.6
 Total UH Industry $4,810,562,252 7.6

* Includes life and fraternal annual statement fillings.

Source: A.M. Best Co
COPYRIGHT 2007 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Life: Leading Writers
Author:Lysiak, Fran Matso
Publication:Best's Review
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Words:2841
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