Voya Financial said Thursday that it plans to divest “substantially” all of its Closed Block Variable Annuity (CBVA) segment and its individual fixed and fixed indexed annuity business so that it can focus on “higher-growth, higher-return, capital-light” retirement, investment management and employee benefits businesses.
Voya will divest its annuity business through an agreement with a consortium of investors led by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC, Crestview Partners and Reverence Capital Partners.
The move is also intended to “significantly reduce market and insurance risk” for Voya.
“Through this transaction, we are further demonstrating our commitment to delivering shareholder value by eliminating the risk associated with the CBVA segment and securing significant value for our Annuities business,” said Rodney O. Martin Jr., chairman and CEO of Voya.
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“Since we became a standalone company in 2013, we have focused on growing our capital-light businesses — specifically, Retirement, Investment Management and Employee Benefits. This transaction accelerates that focus and positions Voya to expand its leadership position as one of the foremost retirement, asset management and employee benefits companies in the United States.”
Voya will retain some of its annuity business, including approximately $6 billion in investment-only products.
The firm will divest Voya Insurance and Annuity Co. (VIAC), the insurance subsidiary that has primarily issued Voya’s variable, fixed and fixed indexed annuities. VIAC will be acquired by Venerable Holdings Inc., a newly formed investment vehicle owned by a consortium of investors led by Apollo, Crestview and Reverence.
Athene Holding Ltd. and Voya also will participate in this consortium, with Voya having a 9.9% equity stake in Venerable.