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Retirement Planning > Social Security

Guggenheim Closes on Security Benefit

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Guggenheim Partners L.L.C. now owns Security Benefit Corp.

Guggenheim, Chicago, has received the approvals necessary to close on the deal, which was announced in February.

Security Benefit, Topeka, Kan., is the parent of Security Benefit Life Insurance Company, a 403(b) retirement plan services business and the Rydex-SGI money management firm.

Todd Boehly, managing partner in the office of the chief executive officer at Guggenheim, will become chairman of Security Benefit.

“We believe there are significant and mutually beneficial business opportunities ahead,” Boehly says in a statement.

Howard Fricke, who served as president of Security Benefit from 1988 to 2000, as chairman from 1996 to 2006, and as interim president starting in February 2010, will become the president of Security Benefit and vice chairman.

Security Benefit is keeping its headquarters offices in Topeka, its regional offices outside Topeka, its 780 employees, and its current businesses, including its annuity and insurance administration businesses, Fricke says.

Guggenheim says it is spending a total of $400 million on acquiring and strengthening Security Benefit.

Guggenheim says it already has injected $340 million into Security Benefit Life. The capital should help the financial strength ratings of Security Benefit Life and a sister company, First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York, Guggenheim says.

Before the Security Benefit deal could be consummated, the policyholder-owners of Security Benefit’s holding company, Security Benefit Mutual Holding Company, had to agree to demutualize and dissolve the holding company.

The demutualization was approved by the mutual holding company members in May. About 90% of the members who voted in favor of the demutualization and dissolution plans.

Each former holding company member will receive about $100 in consideration, and those who own Security Benefit Life tax-qualified contracts will probably receive policy credits, or an increase in the cash value of their policies, rather than cash, depending on the outcome of requests for rulings submitted to the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor, Guggenheim says.



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