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AmeriLife to Acquire a Major Life and Annuity Distributor

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What You Need to Know

  • AmeriLife recently received financing from an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.
  • Nassau Financial became the parent of Saybrus when it acquired the old Phoenix Companies life and annuity wholesaling business in 2016,
  • Saybrus says that, from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2019, it helped insure 448,000 lives and put 100,000 annuity contracts in force.

AmeriLife Group — a life, health and annuity distributor that has used investor cash to fuel explosive growth — said today that it has agreed to acquire Saybrus Partners from Nassau Financial Group.

AmeriLife is a Clearwater, Florida-based company that now has relationships with about 200,000 insurance agents and financial advisors. It has been a top Nassau Financial products distributor.

Recently, the firm received a big round of financing from an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.

Saybrus has been a major in-house distributor for Nassau’s annuities and Medicare supplement insurance products. It has relationships with about 100,000 agents and advisors.

AmeriLife and Nassau Financial hope to close on the deal by Sept. 30. Payment terms were not disclosed.

Once the AmeriLife-Saybrus deal is completed, “Saybrus will continue to distribute Nassau’s products,” AmeriLife said in a statement.

Saybrus also will continue to operate as a stand-alone organization and brand, with Edward Cassidy, its current managing principal, and other top Saybrus executives, keeping their current positions, AmeriLife said.

Saybrus Details

Saybrus is a Hartford, Connecticut-based business that started in 2009 as the wholesaling arm of The Phoenix Companies, which began in 1851.

Nassau — a private equity-backed life insurer — acquired Phoenix, and Saybrus, in 2016, for about $217 million.

Saybrus works with institutional financial advice firms, insurance retailers, banks and broker/dealers. In addition to providing traditional wholesaling services, the company can design products, help with sales and bring new customers aboard.

Saybrus says on its website that from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2019, it helped insure 448,000 lives and put $110 billion in life insurance death benefit protection in force. The company also has set up about 100,000 annuity contracts, with $8.9 billion in deposits, or $89,000 in deposits per contract.

Saybrus has about 50 client support people in its home office and about 100 support people out in the field.

AmeriLife may have signaled its interest in Saybrus in January, when it hired Andrew Sheen, a Saybrus product development executive, to be senior vice president of business development and integration.

The Future

Nassau has $27 billion in assets and about $750 million in annual sales.

The firm recently acquired the U.S. variable annuity and variable life operations of The Independent Order of Foresters, and it raised $100 million in dealmaking money from Wilton Re and Stone Point Credit in January.

Phil Gass, Nassau’s chairman, said in a statement that it will help Nassau simplify its business while further aligning the company with AmeriLife and supporting its insurance sales and asset management growth plans.

(Image: Shutterstock)