NU Online News Service, Feb. 17, 2004, 5:58 p.m. EST – The former chairman of American General Corp., Houston, is back in the game.[@@]

Robert Devlin is leading an effort to acquire Forethought Financial Services Inc., a company that sells funeral insurance and trust services, from Hillenbrand Industries Inc., Batesville, Ind., for $280 million.

Devlin, who was chairman of American General when American International Group Inc., New York, acquired the company in 2001, now is the leader of the Devlin Group L.L.C., New York, an investment group that includes several other former and current top insurance industry executives.

The Devlin Group has formed an acquisition vehicle, FFS Holding Inc., to carry out the Forethought deal.

The Devlin Group plans to keep Forethought’s current management team, marketing operation and Batesville, Ind., headquarters in place, Robert Devlin says in a statement about the deal.

Forethought has $3 billion in assets, annual sales of more than $450 million and $275 million in statutory capital and surplus.

Institutional shareholders who are fighting efforts by a unit of AXA S.A., Paris, to acquire The MONY Group Inc., New York, recently suggested that they might bring Devlin in to run MONY if they win the right to replace MONY’s management team.