NU Online News Service, March 28, 9:51 a.m. – The Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, says it will write off at least $120 million in asset value in the first quarter to implement a new accounting standard, SFAS 142.

The accounting rule changes the way companies account for goodwill and other intangible assets.

Goodwill is the difference between the book value of assets acquired and the price an acquirer actually pays for the assets.

The Phoenix goodwill charge reflects a change in the value Phoenix gives to its past acquisitions. The charge will reduce the value of the company’s assets, but it will not force Phoenix to spend any cash.

Phoenix estimates that problems with “other intangible assets” will account for about $35 million of the write-off, but it didn’t identify the other intangible assets.