KKR & Co. is still planning to pay $4.4 billion to buy Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd., a major life and annuity issuer.
Some of the insurer already in the annuity market are trying to get out, because of concerns about the effects of low interest rates on bonds and big ups and downs in stock prices.
Scott Nuttall, KKR’s co-chief operating officer, talked about his company’s decision to swim against the annuity tide last week, during a conference call with securities analysts.
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Nuttall said one reason is that it’s hard to tell how much of the recent drop in individual annuity sales has been due to low interest rates and how much has been due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Perhaps it’s been harder for some advisors to get to their clients,” Nuttall said. “Perhaps it hasn’t been top of mind for some of the clients to focus on how they’re managing their wealth.”
Nuttall said KKR believes the situation will soon change.