NU Online News Service, Feb. 4, 3:17 p.m. – M Financial Group, Portland, Ore., is reporting $681 million in sales revenue for 2001, up from $535 million in 2000.

The privately held financial services distribution company markets insurance from life insurance companies and its own M Funds family of mutual funds through independent agencies.

The M Funds family ended 2001 managing $315 million in assets, up 35% from a year earlier, in spite of the recent stock market slump, the company reports.

Life insurance sales amounted to $590 million.

Life sales figures for 2000 were not available for comparison, but disability insurance sales increased 42%, to $41 million, and annuity sales increased 9%, to $50 million, M Financial says.

M Financial also gave some information about its new Magnastar program, a program for arranging large “private placement” life insurance policies for wealthy customers.

The program generated $156 million in sales in 2001, or 23% of all M Financial sales revenue for the year, according to company figures.

John Hancock Life Insurance Company and John Hancock Variable Life Insurance Company, two units of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, have helped manufacture the private placement coverage, according to a report Hancock filed with federal securities regulators in March 2001.