NU Online News Service, Feb. 18, 2:17 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 company 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.

Companies that have helped manufacture the private placement coverage include ING-Security Life of Denver, Denver, a unit of the ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam; John Hancock Life Insurance Company and John Hancock Variable Life Insurance Company, two units of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston; Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J.