AM Best Information Services

DECEMBER 16, 2016 03:47 PM (EST)

A.M. Best Downgrades Issuer Credit Rating of Bankers Life Insurance Company; Places Under Review with Positive Implications

 Peter Kelly
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5834

Thomas Rosendale
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5201
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - DECEMBER 16, 2016 03:47 PM (EST)
A.M. Best has downgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “bb” from “bb+” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) of Bankers Life Insurance Company (Bankers Life) (St. Petersburg, FL). In addition, A.M. Best has placed these Credit Ratings (ratings) under review with positive implications.

These actions follow the announcement that Bankers Life has been acquired by Southland National Holdings, Inc. (SNH), a member of the Eli Global family of companies, from Bankers Insurance Company (BIC), whose ultimate parent is Menke 2013 Trust. Following the acquisition by SNH, Bankers Life was transferred to a newly formed holding company, BLI Holdings, Inc., which is ultimately owned by Greg E. Lindberg and managed by Global Bankers Insurance Group (Global Bankers). Global Bankers will operate as the management company for all of Eli Global’s insurance operations, consisting of a diversified group of life and annuity insurance carriers in the United States and abroad. The downgrade of the Long-Term ICR recognizes that Bankers Life no longer benefits from the ownership by and relationship with Bankers Insurance Group, Inc. (BIG). The under review status reflects the evolving business and financial strategies for Bankers Life as a member of the insurance operations of Eli Global. For the most part, Bankers Life markets deferred fixed annuities. During 2015, Bankers Life experienced a decline in risk-adjusted capitalization in addition to a sizable decline in direct premiums written. The company is licensed in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

Based on initial discussions with Global Bankers management, Bankers Life will operate independent of Global Bankers’ other insurance subsidiaries including its rated subsidiary, Colorado Bankers Life insurance Company. Still, Bankers Life should benefit through integration and cost sharing with affiliated Global Bankers companies.

The ratings of Bankers Life will remain under review with positive implications pending detailed discussions with the new management team and until A.M. Best receives more definitive information from management regarding Bankers Life’s business and capitalization plans, which is expected to occur in the near term. The implications are positive, recognizing Global Bankers’ plans to bolster the capital and surplus of Bankers Life and to manage the company with higher risk-adjusted capitalization than the company’s recent trends.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings.

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