Mark Walter, the billionaire chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, is in discussions to take control of one of the firm’s insurance units as the $290 billion company fractures, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
Walter, 57, is taking steps to remove insurer Guggenheim Life and Annuity Co. and fold it into his Delaware Life Insurance Co., which was rebranded this month as Group One Thousand One, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The CEO also is working to form a holding company to oversee his personal assets including the insurance firms, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball franchise and other businesses he controls, according to two of the people.
The negotiations may end with Walter stepping away from day-to-day management of Guggenheim, which he co-founded in 2000, the people said. The timing of Walter’s possible departure, terms of the separation and remaining management structure are all under discussion at the firm’s headquarters in Chicago and New York, said the people.
Walter has no present intention to leave as CEO, according to another person familiar with his plans.
Guggenheim may also close a deal to sell its exchange-traded funds business to money manager Invesco Ltd. within a month, according to people familiar with the matter, which would mark another shift in the makeup of the company.
A spokesman for Guggenheim at Sitrick & Co. declined to comment. Heather Kreager, a Guggenheim board member representing Sammons Enterprises Inc., which controls 35% of Guggenheim, has not discussed Walter’s departure with the board, according to a Sammons spokeswoman.