AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa-” (Superior) of Midland National Life Insurance Company (Midland National) and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance (North American) (both domiciled in West Des Moines, IA). In addition, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a-” (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IRs) of Sammons Financial Group, Inc. (Delaware). In addition, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “aa-” (Superior) of Sammons Financial Group Global Funding. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. Sammons Financial Group, Inc. is an intermediate holding company for Midland National and North American, and is indirectly owned by Sammons Enterprises, Inc. Midland National and North American – the group’s key life/health insurance subsidiaries – are jointly referred to as Sammons Financial Group (SFG). (See below for a detailed listing of the Long-Term IRs).
The ratings reflect SFG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
SFG maintains a strong level of risk-adjusted capitalization, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), although down from the prior year due to continued increases in annuity sales year to date. The overall balance sheet strength has been supported by good liquidity and strong cash flows from operations. The group also has good financial flexibility with demonstrated access to the capital markets if needed and access to the Federal Home Loan Bank. SFG maintains strong interest coverage ratios, and financial leverage remains well-within AM Best guidelines for its current ratings. While SFG maintains very strong balance sheet metrics, AM Best notes that the use of surplus notes and captive financing solutions, as well as the use of a Bermuda-based reinsurance affiliate, reduces the overall quality of capital.
SFG’s strong operating performance is driven by consistently favorable net investment income from a portfolio that is predominately bonds, mortgage loans and alternative assets. Positive operating income has a 10-year compound average growth rate of 7% on a statutory basis. While the alternative investment portfolio has performed well over the longer term, it has added an element of earnings volatility at times as these investments are marked to market. AM Best notes that SFG has reduced its exposure to commercial real estate investments over the past few years with a moderate amount of remaining exposure within its structured security portfolio, commercial mortgage loans and alternative investments portfolio.
SFG continues to benefit from a diverse distribution platform, which includes personal producing agents, independent marketing organizations, the registered investment adviser channel, broker/dealers and banks, as well as credit unions. Product offerings, in core lines of business, have a favorable market position. SFG also maintains an extensive dynamic ERM program that is commensurate with its risk profile.
The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed with stable outlooks:
Sammons Financial Group, Inc.:
-- “a-” (Excellent) on $500 million 4.75% senior unsecured notes, due 2032
-- “a-” (Excellent) on $850 million 3.35% senior unsecured notes, due 2031
-- “a-” (Excellent) on $200 million 7% senior unsecured notes, due 2043
-- “a-” (Excellent) on $500 million 4.45% senior unsecured fixed rate, due 2027
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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