APRIL 13, 2017 09:34 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of the Members of Athene Group
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDWICK - APRIL 13, 2017 09:34 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a” from “a-” of the members of Athene Group. (See below for a detailed listing of Athene Group’s members and ratings.) The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive. Athene Group is the consolidating rating unit for the U.S. operating companies, which is focused on the fixed indexed and fixed annuity market segments, along with Athene Life Re Ltd. (ALRe) (Bermuda), its affiliated reinsurance company.
Concurrently, A.M. Best has upgraded the Long-Term ICR to “bbb” from “bbb-” of Athene Holding Ltd. (AHL) (Bermuda). The outlook of this rating has been revised to stable from positive. AHL operates as the holding company for the U.S. and Bermuda operations.
The rating actions for Athene Group reflect its strong risk-adjusted capitalization, a trend of strong profitability and recent sales growth through retail initiatives, including its position as a leader in the fixed-index annuity market. The company is led by a strong management team with proven ability to grow capital both organically and through new capital generation, a trend that has not abated since the company’s inception. The company’s strong trend of earnings and capital growth has enabled AHL and its operating companies to strengthen their balance sheets while providing sufficient capital support for retail growth and new product development. A.M. Best also notes that the quality of the group’s capital is high, as the capital structure currently employs no financial leverage. In addition, the company recently completed its initial public offering in December of 2016.
Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the pressures associated with managing assets in an extended low interest rate environment, as well as the embedded exposures present in changing credit cycles. The company’s investment portfolio, which includes structured securities, is viewed as more aggressive compared to traditional life insurance companies. A.M. Best also notes the challenges the company faces in managing risks associated with its expanded retail distribution platform and continued rapid growth.
The FSR has been upgraded to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs upgraded to “a” from “a-” with the outlook revised to stable from positive for the following members of Athene Group:
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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