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Old Mutual plc (LSE:OML), an international diversified financial services group headquartered in London, England, completed the purchase today of Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance Company (F&G Life), a Baltimore-based life insurance, annuity and structured settlements company.

Old Mutual Completes Purchase of F&G Life

Old Mutual purchased F&G Life from The St. Paul Companies (NYSE: SPC) for $635 million in cash and stock. The deal, which was announced 26 April 2001, was concluded following receipt of regulatory approval in Maryland and New York, where F&G Life operates through its Thomas Jefferson Life subsidiary.

"The purchase of F&G Life provides Old Mutual with a strong presence in the United States life insurance market. It has an established brand with well-developed sales channels, a diversified product portfolio and knowledge of the vast U.S. market," said Guy Barker, chief executive of Old Mutual's U.S. Life operations.

F&G Life joins a $234 billion diversified financial services group with corporate goals for growth and diversification. The acquisition will add considerable resources to F&G Life, which it will use to expand product development, technology, service and customer support of its sales channel and distribution network.

"This union creates a strategic alignment for F&G Life with Old Mutual that will translate into substantial added benefit and value for our customers, agents, employees and stockholders in the years ahead," said Harry N. Stout, president of F&G Life.

Old Mutual's Chief Executive Officer (designate), Jim Sutcliffe explained, "The U.S. market represents a strategic priority for Old Mutual, primarily due to access to the world's largest market for financial services, as well as demographic trends that support long-term growth." Sutcliffe added, "Building a quality life insurance platform is an important element of Old Mutual's U.S. strategy to expand its operations and become one of the world's largest life insurance providers."



As with the sale of any major insurance purchase, it’s important to OM Financial Life Insurance Company and OM Financial Life Insurance Company of New York (“the Companies”) that you closely evaluate your financial needs and options carefully. Whenever you enter into any contract such as an annuity contract, you should thoroughly review the language, options and benefits, your personal finances and tax deferral goals, college funding, wealth accumulation, principal protection, retirement goals and overall needs before entering into a contract.

1) Evaluate your financial needs and goals.
You should first know what you want to achieve based upon your financial needs. Determine what your current savings and investments are and establish your retirement goals. Do you need income now or are you in a position to allow your savings to grow? Do you want that growth to be at a guaranteed rate of a savings vehicle such as a fixed annuity contract or can you take the risk of a variable annuity that is invested in stocks or bond funds?

2) Understand the language describing the Annuity.
There are different types of annuities which offer many options to meet a variety of financial objectives. If you are unsure about the type or terms used to describe an annuity, check with your insurance producer, tax advisor, financial planner, broker, elder attorney or someone who is familiar with your financial circumstances and goals. Never agree to terms you don’t fully understand.

3) Familiarize yourself with the different types of annuities offered by the Companies

Immediate Annuity- provides income now.

Deferred Annuity- allows savings to accumulate before payouts begin in the future.

Fixed Annuity- a deferred annuity in which your money earns interest at a guaranteed rate.

Index Annuity- a deferred annuity in which earnings accumulate at a rate based upon a formula linked to one or more published equity-based indexes, such as Standard and Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index™.

Variable Annuity- a deferred annuity in which your money is put in subaccounts that are invested in stock and bond funds OM Financial Life Insurance Company, Baltimore, MD

4) If you are purchasing an index annuity, ask about the current credited interest rate. How often does it change? What are the minimum guaranteed rates? Are the charge free withdrawal amounts sufficient to meet your income needs?

5) If you are purchasing an index annuity, find out about the index, formula and current factors applicable to the initial indexed interest period. How often is the indexed interest credited? How may factors change in subsequent periods? What is the level of minimum guaranteed values provided by the contract?

6) If you are purchasing a variable annuity, find out the investment options currently available and review the prospectus for each subaccount. A prospectus which is required to be provided to potential buyers outlines the objectives and level of risk, as well as the operating expenses and financial statements. Charges differ with each annuity and company.

7) Ask if there are fees or charges for partial withdrawal of funds or full surrender of your deferred annuity contract. Find out how much the fees are and for how long they apply. Often, after a time specified in the contract, these fees are eliminated. Make sure

that you have sufficient income to meet your needs so that you will not need to incur full surrender charges or penalties for early withdrawals.

8) Ask if there is a guaranteed death benefit. Some annuities include death benefits that may exceed the account value; some do not. Know what benefit is guaranteed, how and when it will be paid, and whether increased benefits may be purchased.

9) Ask how long the “free look” period is. The free look period is the time in which you have the right to review the contract and return it if you have made the wrong choice.  The Companies then will cancel the contract and depending upon your state, refund your initial contribution or the market value of the contract. Free looks usually last at least 10 days and up to 60 days depending upon your state requirements. The free look rules vary from state to state and not every state guarantees free look rights.

10) Evaluate the Companies issuing the annuity. Only life insurance companies can issue annuities, although they may be sold through financial institutions such as banks and brokerage firms. Make sure the company issued issuing the annuity is licensed in your state, reputable and financially strong. OM Financial Life Insurance Company is licensed in all states (excluding New York) and the District of Columbia. OM Financial Life Insurance Company of New York is licensed only in the state of New York.

The Companies have an A.M. Best Rating of A (Excellent) for financial strength and operating performance. 3rd highest out of 15 ratings. OM Financial Life Insurance Company and OM Financial Life Insurance Company of New York want to make sure you have purchased an annuity product that meets your financial situation and that you are satisfied.


OM Financial Life Insurance Company
Address1 P.O. Box 81337
Address2 -
City Lincoln
State NE
Zip 68501
Phone Number N/A
Fax Number N/A

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A Tale Of Two Agents

Captive Agent

An agent working exclusively for a single firm. He or she is obliged to submit business only to that firm, or at least give that firm first rights of refusal on the case.

Captive agents that are non-established are usually paid on a combination of salary and commissions earned from selling the policy contract. Also, the firm usually provides its captive agents with an allowance for office expenses as well as employee benefits such as pensions, life insurance, and health insurance. 

The established captive agent is usually paid exclusively on a commission basis.  This type of agent will tend to have more in-depth knowledge of that firm's policies, however, he or she will hardly ever be equipped to offer the industries' best price on any particular product offering.

Independent Agent Broker

Simply said, independent agents are appointed to sell policies from many insurers. The agent is independent from all the companies thus, the independent agent's responsibility is solely focused on evaluating the client's needs and the pricing of the product chosen.

While searching for the brokerage market's best place for a client's business, independent agents pay all their own expenses and keep their own records and earn their income from brokerage commissions on the policies they sell.

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