NU Online News Service, Dec. 8, 2003, 5:39 p.m. EST – An 8-year-old Midwestern life insurance company that emphasizes strong relationships with agents is raising $168 million through an initial public offering.[@@]
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Des Moines, Iowa, is selling 18.7 million shares to the public at a price of $9 each.
Merrill Lynch & Company Inc., New York, and the other investment banks that are managing the offering have an option to buy another 2.8 million shares.
David Noble and other former executives of The Statesman Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, formed American Equity in late 1995 by buying two large blocks of business from Statesman. Later, Noble’s team acquired Century Life Insurance Company, Waverly, Iowa, and started a subsidiary domiciled in New York.
The company now has licenses to sell its products in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
The company has more than $2 billion of life insurance business on its books and it still sells life insurance, but it has focused on selling variable annuities, fixed annuities and equity-indexed annuities to U.S. residents who are saving for retirement.
The company boasts of having links to about 70 national marketing organizations and, through the marketing organizations, 41,000 independent agents.