The life settlement arm of Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. has acquired two life settlement operations.
Chronos Life Group, a unit of Kohlberg, Mount Kisco, N.Y., has obtained a majority ownership interest in Life Equity L.L.C., Hudson, Ohio, according to Life Equity.
Chronos also has acquired the life settlement assets of JPMorgan Chase & Company, New York. Reports that JPMorgan was leaving the life settlement market began surfacing in June 2010.
Chronos now has a portfolio of life settlements with a total face value of about $1 billion, the firm says.
A Chronos asset manager, Chronos Investment Advisors, will manage the portfolio.
“With these acquisitions, Chronos Life will become a leading originator, servicer, and asset manager in the life settlements industry,” Chronos Chairman Scott Birnbaum says in a statement. “Chronos Life will be a fully-integrated life settlement business in an emerging financial services market. We believe life settlements are attractive investments due to their relatively high yields, limited credit risk, and returns that are uncorrelated to either the stock market or economic cycles.”
Chronos will serve institutional investors and wealthy individuals, Birnbaum says.
Life Equity was founded in 2000 and now has licenses to operate as a life settlement provider in 42 states. The company also services life settlement portfolios for other entities in the market.
Kyle Kibler, who has been the chief operating officer of Life Equity, will succeed Brian Smith as the company’s chief executive officer.
Smith, the company’s founder, will continue to be a member of the Life Equity board, Life Equity says.