A state appeals court in San Francisco has upheld a lower-court ruling backing actions the California insurance commissioner took in connection with Executive Life Insurance Company.
The plaintiff, Aurora S.A., sued in the Superior Court in San Francisco for a writ of mandate that would require the California commissioner to allow the sale of Aurora National Life Assurance Company, Valencia, Calif., to Reassure America Life Insurance Company, Armonk, N.Y., a unit of Swiss Re Reinsurance Company, Zurich.
Judge Charlotte Woolard, a Superior Court judge, denied the petition.
A 3-judge panel at California’s 1st District Court of Appeal affirmed Woolard’s decision earlier this month. The panel agreed with the trial court’s ruling and held that the commissioner had not abused his discretion.
Executive Life, Los Angeles, failed in 1991.
The MAAF Group, a consortium of French and Swiss insurers, and Altus S.A. acquired Executive Life’s insurance policies from the Executive Life estate, then transferred the policies to a new company, Aurora National Life, a subsidiary of New California Life Holdings.
Altus and Francois Pinault formed Artemis S.A., a company that owns Aurora S.A, Judge Barbara Jones writes in an opinion discussing the appellate court panel’s ruling.
Aurora S.A. controls New California Life Holdings, and, because Aurora S.A. controls New California Life holdings, it controls Aurora National Life, Jones says.
The appellate court case, Aurora S.A. vs. Steve Poizner, as insurance commissioner, etc. (A129971), has to do with a relationship between Aurora S.A. and Reassure America that began around 2000.
Aurora S.A. and another company agreed to sell their stakes in New California Life to Reassure America, and they also entered into a reinsurance agreement ceding 95% of Aurora National Life’s life, annuity and guaranteed investment contract business to Reassure America, Jones says.