What You Need to Know
- American Equity announced the deal about a year ago after rejecting an offer from Athene and MassMutual.
- The deal should free up about $200 million in capital.
- American Equity says it wants to create mechanisms of its own for tapping outside investor capital directly.
A subsidiary of Brookfield Reinsurance has closed a deal to reinsure about $10 billion in annuities for American Equity Investment Life Holding Co.
The deal means that annuity advisors will continue to be able to do business with an annuity issuer that’s based in the United States — in West Des Moines, Iowa — rather than in Bermuda or some other country.
For American Equity, the deal means that the company needs to find a way to tap outside investor capital itself, rather than depending on reinsurers or other outside entities to do the job.
American Equity is an annuity issuer that was founded in 1996 by David Noble. It helped create the modern indexed annuity market. An indexed annuity pays the contract holder a return linked, indirectly, to the performance of at least one investment index.
American Equity moved from having $11 million in assets 25 years ago to having a total of about $63 billion in annuity reserve liabilities on its books earlier this month, before it closed the deal with Brookfield Re.
Brookfield Re is an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management — a Toronto-based financial services company with about $625 billion in assets under management.
Brookfield Asset Management formed Brookfield Re in December 2020 and turned Brookfield Re into a separate, publicly traded company by paying a special dividend to its own shareholders about four months ago.
In addition to making the deal with American Equity, Brookfield Re has agreed to acquire an entire Texas-based multiline insurer, American National Group, for about $5.1 billion.
Sachin Shah, Brookfield Re’s CEO, said in August, when Brookfield Re released its earnings for the second quarter of 2021, that the company has “significant capital available to deploy into a large pipeline of investment opportunities.”
The Brookfield Re-American Equity Deal
American Equity and Brookfield Asset Management announced their $10 billion annuity reinsurance deal in October 2020, before the Brookfield Re launch.
The deal includes reinsurance for in-force annuities backed by $4 billion in reserves, along with “forward flow reinsurance” for annuities to be written in the future, over a seven-year-period, according to a report filed with the SEC.
The $6 billion in reinsurance for annuities to be written later “will provide American Equity Life capital flexibility to fuel future growth in annuity origination,” the company says.