NU Online News Service, Sept. 28, 2004, 3:12 p.m. EDT

Moody’s Investors Service, New York, is reviewing Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ insurance financial strength rating for a possible downgrade.[@@]

Thrivent, Minneapolis, now has an Aa1 rating. The rating is Moody’s second highest rating.

Moody’s says its review will focus on Thrivent’s profitability and expense structure. In addition, the agency says it will review the company’s exposure to long term care insurance. Thrivent discontinued sales of its own LTC product in early 2003 but still markets LTC insurance from outside insurers.

Thrivent Financial was created in 2002 from the merger of 2 fraternal organizations, the Aid Association for Lutherans and the Lutheran Brotherhood.

Moody’s says its review will evaluate whether the financial benefits it had expected from the merger have been realized.

Any downgrade that might occur as a result of the review would be no more than 1 notch, Moody’s says. The agency expects to conclude its review in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Thrivent issued a statement emphasizing that it still has the second highest rating that Moody’s gives.

The Moody’s announcement “means that Moody’s has some unresolved areas that it needs to review,” Thrivent says in the statement. “We look forward to working with Moody’s to resolve any concerns they may have and will provide additional information which we believe supports our current rating.”