Aviva buys seller of life insurance, annuities
British insurer Aviva will buy Iowa-based AmerUs Group for about $2.9 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal
. The company will rebrand its American operations.
One of the United Kingdom’s largest insurers, Aviva already has a small U.S. presence, Aviva USA, headquartered in Quincy, Mass. The company has about $6.5 billion in assets in the United States and sells universal, term and whole life insurance and annuities.
Insurers are increasingly interested in the annuities market -- a stable, long-term retirement product. As baby boomers age, analysts expect them to withdraw money from riskier 401(k) and IRA plans and move them into more secure annuities.
Annuities are also popular because some products offer the guarantee of payment until death – providing assurance that one won’t outlive the money stashed in a 401(k) account.
The company will merge AmerUs
with Aviva USA and rebrand the company as Aviva.
AmerUs, based in Des Moines, is a major player in the U.S. savings market with $24.7 billion in total assets.
AmerUs reported $1.62 billion in revenue last year. The company is the number one seller of equity-indexed life insurance products and ranks third in sales of equity-indexed annuities. AmerUs has grown at a robust 27 percent clip over the last five years.
The headquarters of the U.S. Aviva will move to Des Moines, Iowa. Tom Godlasky, CEO of AmerUs, will lead the U.S. Aviva subsidiary.
We called AmerUs
to gain more insight into the acquisition.
We spoke to Martin Ketelaar, vice president of investor relations, who confirmed that AmerUs would rebrand with the Aviva name.
He said the global awareness for the Aviva brand led to the decision. Ketelaar said no decisions on how to market the brand change have been made yet.
Ketelaar said the company has a small in-house marketing group but that the company often works with outside agencies.
According to The List
database, Indianapolis-based Floyd & Stanich has handled some creative work for AmerUs.
Agencies with branding experience should reach out to Godlasky and his team immediately. Aviva will need a coordinated campaign to create awareness for the Aviva brand as it seeks to enlarge its slice of the retirement pie.
AmerUs Group Company
699 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Senior Vice President of Marketing
Director of Marketing Communications
Aviva Life Insurance Company
Batterymarch Park Building III
3 Pine Hill Drive
Quincy, MA 02169
Marketing & Communications Director