The broker compensation investigations cast a shadow this week over life and benefits distributors’ reports on their latest quarterly results.[@@]

National Financial Partners Corp., New York, and Clark Inc., Barrington, Ill., both mentioned the investigations in discussions of their earnings for the fourth quarter of 2004.

NFP, a company that now owns about 150 brokers and agencies, is reporting $12 million in net income for the latest quarter on $204 million in revenue, up from $9.7 million in net income on $140 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003.

NFP has been growing rapidly through acquisitions, but profits were strong at operations owned in 2003 as well as businesses acquired in 2004, NFP says.

NFP disclosed earlier this year that several of its subsidiaries have received subpoenas and other requests for information about broker compensation issues. The company also is conducting an internal review of its own. So far, though, “neither the company nor outside counsel has discovered any evidence of bid rigging, fictitious or inflated quotes or related matters,” the company says in a discussion of its earnings.

Clark, a company with a large executive benefits practice, is reporting $11 million in net income for the latest quarter on $94 million in revenue, up from $4.4 million in net income on $86 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003.

Uncertainty about deferred compensation program laws forced some employers to wait on executive compensation decisions, and “scrutiny by the New York attorney general and other regulators into insurance industry compensation practices caused a distraction to potential buyers,” Clark says in its discussion of its earnings.

In other earnings news:

- Assurant Inc., New York, the insurance company spun off by Fortis, Brussels, is reporting $86 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.9 billion in revenue, compared with a net loss of $78 million in net income on $1.8 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003. The company says the fourth-quarter 2004 results include the cost of developing a “second-generation” health savings account product and testing of a “direct-to-consumer marketing program.”

- Scottish Re Group Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, is reporting $19 million in net income for the latest quarter on $215 million in revenue, up from $11 million in net income on $196 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003.

- Universal American Financial Corp., Rye Brook, N.Y., is reporting $17 million in net income for the latest quarter on $207 million in revenue, up from $13 million in net income on $147 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2003. Revenue at the Universal American unit that administers long term care insurance plans and other senior health plans increased 20%, to $15 million.