AM Best Information Services

JULY 06, 2017 03:18 PM (EDT)

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Sammons Financial Group, Inc. and Its Subsidiaries

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

William Pargeans
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5359

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

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


OLDWICK - JULY 06, 2017 03:18 PM (EDT)
A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term 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 West Des Moines, IA). In addition, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” and the Long-Term Issue Credit Rating (Long-Term IR) of “a-” on the $200 million 7.0% senior unsecured notes, due 2043, of Sammons Financial Group, Inc. (SFG, Inc.) (Delaware). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Additionally, A.M. Best has assigned a Long-Term IR of “a-” to SFG, Inc.’s recently issued $500 million 4.45% senior unsecured notes, due 2027. The outlook assigned to this rating is stable. 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 rating affirmations reflect SFG’s solid risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), to support its insurance and business risks, trend of positive earnings and well-managed investment portfolio that benefits from the resources and expertise of its investment manager, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management. The ratings factor the group’s higher allocation to structured assets such as mortgage loans and private placements, which historically have performed well but are subject to potential higher impairments under stressed economic scenarios. SFG, Inc. does have financial and operating leverage as part of the company’s financial and operating profile, and it is considered well within an acceptable range at the current ratings level.

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. However, given the evolving U.S. Department of Labor rules with respect to certain annuities, sales may face some headwinds during 2017.

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. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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