NU Online News Service, May 7, 2003, 3:40 p.m. EDT – Many life insurance company chief financial officers say their companies could acquire blocks of business during the next 12 months, and about half say their companies could acquire other companies, according to Tillinghast-Tower -Perrin, New York.

The actuarial consulting firm has based the conclusions on an informal survey of 35 life company CFOs.

Most of the CFOs work for large and midsize publicly traded insurers, Tillinghast says.

Seventy-one percent of the participating CFOs said it was “highly likely” or “possible” that their companies would acquire blocks of business during the next 12 months, and 49% said it was highly likely or possible that their companies would acquire other companies.

When asked about their companies’ top two objectives for acquisitions, 82% of the CFOs cited gaining profitable growth and 52% cited expanding distribution capabilities.

Mergers and acquisitions were scarce in 2002, but John Nigh, a Tillinghast principal, says the number could increase this year because sellers seem to be more realistic about prices and buyers are eager for growth opportunities.