According to the Wall Street Journal, Guggenheim Partners, Harbinger Capital Partners, and Apollo Global Management are just some of the money managers who have begun to acquire fixed annuities. These investments, which were sold by life insurance companies to conservative savers for decades, are now being seen by these newest buyers as a way to increase money under management. Many of these entities, which are controlled by private-equity groups, hedge funds, and other investment managers, believe that their investment savvy will allow them to discover profits where traditional insurance companies were unable to do so. Such acquisitions could provide a more stable income source.
For example, following its acquisition of a couple of midsize insurers this summer by its affiliates, Guggenheim, the $160 billion money manager. won credit-ratings upgrades. Meantime, Athene Annuity & Life, which said it would pay $415 million for Presidential Life Corp., will add about $3.5 billion in assets if Presidential shareholders approve the deal. As for Apollo Global Management, it is seeking to establish a retirement-savings company that is a market leader.
Some of these new annuity owners are offering products that come with terms that are now more generous for clients, while others want to make money off the business blocks they’ve acquired. The National Organization of Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations says that to get US consumers to buy annuities, firms have to set up state-based insurance units that are governed by the same risk-based-capital rules that other insurers have to follow.