FGL Holdings — the parent of Fidelity & Guaranty Life — has replaced its chief executive officer and is organizing a major effort to cut costs.
Blackstone, the investment company that controls FGL, is still expressing optimism about the Des Moines, Iowa-based life insurance and annuity issuer’s future.
Bennett Goodman, chairman of the Blackstone Insurance Solutions unit, said in a statement about the changes that the changes represent an exciting opportunity for Fidelity & Guaranty.
(Related: FGL Set to Issue $550 Million in Notes)
“We are committed to the success of F&G,” Goodman said in the statement.
A property-casualty insurer founded Fidelity & Guaranty Life in 1959.
Old Mutual P.L.C., a large insurer now based in the United Kingdom, acquired the company in 2001 and used it as a base for entering the U.S. indexed annuity market.
HRG Group Inc., a New York-based investment firm, acquired control over Fidelity & Guaranty Life in 2011.
An affiliate of Blackstone acquired control over FGL in November 2017.
FGL is a publicly traded company, with stock that trades on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol FG, but, in March, Blackstone still owned about 22% of FGL’s stock, according to an FGL proxy filing.
The CEO Change
Christopher Littlefield, FGL’s previous CEO, had been the head of FGL since 2014. Before that, Littlefield had spent years working as an executive at AmerUS and Aviva USA.
FGL’s new CEO, Christopher Blunt, was the CEO of the Blackstone Insurance Solutions unit in 2018.
Before Blunt joined Blackstone, he was president of the investments group at New York Life Insurance Company.
Blunt has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in business from the University of Pennsylvania.
Chinh Chu, co-executive chairman of FGL, said in a statement that the company board thanks Littlefield for his leadership, and for his dedication to FGL.