Insurance companies have been snapping up research analysts in recent months, leaving openings at banks covering the firms. (Photo: iStock)

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co., the second-biggest seller of indexed annuities in the U.S., hired Raymond James Financial Inc.’s Steven Schwartz as vice president of investor relations.

Chief Executive Officer John Matovina announced the addition of Schwartz during Thursday’s second-quarter earnings call, noting that he joined earlier this week after covering the firm for more than 12 years as an analyst.

“Needless to say, he won’t have much of a learning curve in his new position with us,” Matovina said. “We’re delighted to have him at American Equity.”

Insurance companies have been snapping up research analysts in recent months, leaving openings at banks covering the firms. MetLife Inc. announced in May that it hired Wells Fargo & Co.’s John Hall to lead investor relations, and the San Francisco-based bank said Tuesday that it added Sean Dargan from Macquarie Group Ltd. to cover life insurers.

While at Raymond James, Schwartz recommended that investors buy MetLife and had an outperform rating for American Equity. A spokeswoman for Raymond James had no immediate comment.

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