NU Online News Service, Aug. 4, 2004, 3:45 p.m. EDT

Safeco Life & Investments, Redmond, Wash., plans to change its name to “Symetra Financial” Sept. 1.[@@]

A group of investors recently acquired the company from Safeco Corp., Seattle, a company that has decided to focus on its property-casualty operations.

The new name was chosen because it communicates a “sense of balance essential for long-term success in the financial services business,” according to Randy Talbot, Safeco Life’s president.

Safeco Life’s Safeco Life Insurance Company unit is changing its name to Symetra Life Insurance Company.

Safeco Life also has signed 10-year leases for headquarters space in downtown Bellevue, Wash. The company says it will move about 1,000 employees to Bellevue from Redmond in the summer of 2005.

Safeco Life was founded in 1957 and now has about $22 billion in assets.