NU Online News Service, May 3, 4:51 p.m. – Just how sure is the future of Business Men’s Assurance Company of America, Kansas City, Mo., now that Royal Bank of Canada is acquiring it from Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.?
The big rating agencies aren’t really sure.
The New York office of Standard & Poor’s has turned its thumbs down; the New York office of Moody’s Investors Service has turned its thumbs up; and the Chicago office of Fitch Ratings is keeping its thumbs to itself.
The huge, Toronto-based Royal Bank insists the proposed BMA acquisition is obviously a good move, both for it and BMA.
“The deal will expand our insurance and wealth management business in the U.S. and provide additional cross-selling opportunities for us,” says Beja Rodeck, a senior manager at Royal Bank’s RBC Financial Group unit.
Royal Bank announced earlier this week that it would pay the large, Trieste, Italy-based Generali group $220 million for half of BMA’s operations.
Generali would keep BMA’s reinsurance division, its Kansas City offices and its employees.
Royal Bank would get the BMA name; about 150,000 traditional life insurance policies and fixed and variable annuity contracts; and the capability of producing variable life products.
Royal Bank could add BMA to RBC Insurance, a unit that entered the U.S. market in November 2000 by paying $650 million to acquire Liberty Life Insurance Company and Liberty Insurance Services Corp. from Liberty Corp., Greenville, S.C.