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Protective Life’s Chief Dealmaker to Retire

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What You Need to Know

  • Nancy Kane sees plenty cash flowing into life deals.
  • Information systems conversion analysis is part of Protective Life’s deal due diligence process.
  • She’s preparing to focus on raising horses for therapeutic riding programs.
Nancy Kane (Credit: Protective Life) Nancy Kane (Credit: Protective Life)

Nancy Kane is planning to retire from her post as executive vice president, acquisitions and corporate development, at Protective Life Corp. in June.

Kane has been working for the Birmingham, Alabama-based life insurer since 1997 and overseeing its acquisitions since 2013.

The Yale Law School graduate came to the company after working with it, as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. She saw a major deal from the perspective of an employee at the acquired company in 2015, when the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company bought Protective Life.

Kane is now president of Momentum, an Alabama leadership organization for women, and a member of the board of the Children’s Aid Foundation, the funding organization for the Children’s Aid Society of Alabama.

For 17 years, she has been a volunteer with Special Equestrians, a group that provides therapeutic horseback riding opportunities for children. After she leaves Protective Life, she intends to spend more time on her farm, with the nine horses she has been raising for the therapeutic riding program.

Here are five things Kane has been seing in the life and annuity mergers and acquisitions arena lately, drawn from a recent interview.

1. Publicly announced, completed deals account for only a small portion of the deals in the pipeline.

Protective Life evaluates about 20 to 30 proposed deals for every deal it tries to participate in, Kane said.

Many deals that are completed never come to public attention, because neither party has an obligation to file an announcement with the SEC.

2. Would-be buyers have plenty of cash they can use to make new deals.

“A lot of capital has been sitting on the sidelines,” Kane said. “New entrants are a constant.”

3. Most of the sellers are trying to make their organizations stronger, not scrape up quick cash.

Kane said she thinks most of the insurers putting companies, divisions and blocks of business up for sale are trying to reallocate their capital.

“I don’t think they’re distressed sellers,” she said.

4. Part of the pre-deal research involves evaluation of a target company’s information systems.

“It’s certainly not the case that everybody’s on state-of-the-art systems,” Kane said.

Protective Life analyzes what it would have to do to convert a company’s systems before it goes ahead with the deal, she added.

5. The new emphasis on working from home could make implementing some deals easier.

“It certainly makes the integration easier if folks are already remote,” Kane said.

 

(Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock)