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Life Insurance Company Owner Faces Wall Street Journal Scrutiny

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The owner of a life insurance group that Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Co., Bankers Life Insurance Co. of Florida, and Southland National Insurance Corp. of Louisiana is squaring off with reporters at the Wall Street Journal.

Two reporters at the Wall Street Journal have suggested in an article published last week that Greg Lindberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Global LLC, may have had the life insurers in the group invest an unusually high percentage of their assets in affiliates.

Lindberg responded with a press release asserting that the reporters had left key facts out of their story.

(Related: Global Bankers Affiliate Makes $120 Million Life Insurer Purchase)

Lindberg said that he never used dividends to take cash out of the life insurers, has invested more than $500 million in the U.S. insurance companies in the Eli Global group, and has paid for a team to develop a digital policy administration platform for the insurers’ new insurance products.

The U.S. insurers have more than $2 billion in liquid assets, and they have current capital levels well in excess of the minimum risk-based capital requirements, Lindberg said.

All of the insurers’ private placement investments have been valued by an independent third party, Lindberg said.

Lindberg said that the insurers’ loans to companies in which he has an interest have been successful, with high yields and no payment defaults, and that the insurers also have more traditional, well-diversified portfolios of publicly traded bonds.

In November, after reports of regulator interest in Eli Global’s investments surfaced, A.M. Best issued a report describing Colorado Bankers Life’s balance sheet as “very strong.”

— Read Blackstone Hires Former Federal Insurance Office Head, on ThinkAdvisor.

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