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DUFF & PHELPS: MINNESOTA MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS PAYING ABILITY RATED 'AAA'

 CHICAGO, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Duff & Phelps Credit Co. has rated the claims paying ability of Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company (Minnesota Mutual) `AAA' (Triple-A). The rating reflects the company's dominant position in the mortgage insurance market, excellent individual life franchise, experienced management team, improved statutory profitability, solid capitalization, and very high asset quality.
 Established in St. Paul in 1880, Minnesota Mutual is one of the larger mutual life insurers in the United States with $6.8 billion in assets and $391 million in adjusted surplus at year end 1992. The company's three core business lines are group mortgage insurance, individual life, and small case group pension. Individual premium has grown more than 11 percent annually over the past decade and profits have improved through product design and expense control. The pension line targets employers with 25-500 employees who prefer a bundling of both product and value-added services.
 Return on average assets was 2.97 percent in 1992 and has averaged 2.38 percent over five years. Return on adjusted surplus improved to 15.1 percent in 1992 from 9.5 percent the previous year due to a surge in individual annuity profits and product adjustments in disability lines. Minnesota Mutual's capitalization was 5.7 percent at year end 1992 and is in line with peer companies. The company continues to hold very conservative actuarial reserves. Operating leverage fell to 14.54 times from 15.62 times at the end of 1991.
 Minnesota Mutual's very high quality investment portfolio is the result of an expertise developed in privately placed securities, and a carefully constructed mortgage portfolio of which 53 percent is pools of seasoned single-family residential loans. The company's bond portfolio was 42 percent private placements at year end 1992, primarily invested in large publicly held corporations of high credit quality. The company has experienced below average delinquency and foreclosure rates in its commercial mortgage portfolio. Surplus exposure to below investment grade bonds and troubled real estate was 59 percent and 7 percent respectively.
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Martha M. Butler, CFA of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., 312-368-3191/


CO: Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company ST: Minnesota IN: INS SU: RTG

WB -- NY068 -- 0547 03/29/93 13:07 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 29, 1993
Words:370
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