AM Best Information Services

JULY 14, 2016 04:30 PM (EDT)

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings for Sammons Financial Group, Inc. and its Subsidiaries

 Anthony McSwieney
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5715

William Pargeans
Assistant Vice President
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5359
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - JULY 14, 2016 04:30 PM (EDT)
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in Des Moines, IA). In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” and issue rating of “a-” for Sammons Financial Group, Inc. (SFG, Inc.) (Delaware), and its $200 million 7.0% senior unsecured notes due 2043. SFG, Inc. is an intermediate holding company for Midland National and North American, and is indirectly owned by Sammons Enterprises, Inc. (SEI). Midland National and North American (the group’s key life/health insurance subsidiaries) are jointly referred to as the Sammons Financial Group (SFG). The outlook for each rating is stable.

The affirmation of the ratings reflects SFG’s sufficient risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, to support its insurance and business risks. One source of capital growth is through earnings, which have been positive but fluctuating over the past five years. SFG’s investment portfolio is considered well-managed and of good credit quality, and it benefits from the resources and expertise of its investment manager, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management.

SFG holds prominent market positions in the individual life and fixed indexed annuity marketplaces, with plans to grow its business in Sammons Retirement Solutions, marketing products such as mutual fund IRAs and variable annuities through wholesale distribution through independent broker/dealers. In addition, SFG’s enterprise risk management program is highly developed with well-defined monitoring processes. Lastly, the group has good financial flexibility and financial leverage and interest coverage ratios are well within A.M. Best tolerances for the ratings.

Partially offsetting rating factors include the group’s high exposure to interest-sensitive liabilities and structured securities, but these securities have generally performed historically well. In addition, risk-adjusted capital is enhanced through use of reinsurance, financial leverage and captive reinsurers. Lastly, while SFG is a strong competitor in its core markets, competition in these markets is considered high.

This press release relates to rating(s) 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.

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