Colorado Bankers Life Sold To Southland National

Jul 2, 2015

  1. AllenChicago
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    IMO, Colorado Bankers Life's decline started when they went from a simple, 1 page Term/CI combo application to multiple pages.. back in 2012. ObamaCare's high premiums and elimination of higher-deductible health plans finished the job. I used to sell a ton of CBL..and the retention was/is over 90% for all 10 years of the Term.

    Anyone have relevant info on Southland National insurance company?


    July 1, 2015

    To: All Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company® Field Partners

    From: Joe Wieser, President and Chief Executive Officer

    Re: Southland National Insurance Corporation to Acquire Preferred Financial
    Corporation and Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company

    Dear Field Partners,

    I am excited to announce that Preferred Financial Corporation and Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company will be acquired by Southland National Insurance Corporation.

    Southland National is the life insurance subsidiary of Eli Global, a private firm founded in 1991 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Southland National is committed to building on Colorado Bankers Life's strong platform as part of its expansion in the insurance business and we believe this is an exciting opportunity for our company and our field partners.

    No action is required on your part at this time, and there will be no changes to your contract to distribute Colorado Bankers Life products. All contracts will remain in place at the current terms following the transaction. Above all, we want to highlight that we believe this combination will enhance your ability to deliver individual life, accident and critical illness products.

    Southland National will welcome Colorado Bankers Life's employees and agents into its organization, so your contacts with Preferred Financial Corporation and interactions with Colorado Bankers Life will remain the same. Following the close of the transaction, Colorado Bankers Life's operations will maintain the Colorado Bankers Life name and continue to be located in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

    It is important to understand that today's announcement is just the first step in the transaction process. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015, subject to customary regulatory approvals. Until that time, it will be business as usual at Colorado Bankers Life. The future is even brighter now for Colorado Bankers Life. Thank you again for all you do.

    Sincerely,
    Joe Wieser
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company
     
  2. OregonDave
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    Allen, I can't find anything online about this nor received any emails, did you receive this directly from CBL?

    JR Jordan runs a good operation. I hope that stays the same.
     
  3. Newby
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    South land was pretty active with a Preneed product a few years ago. Then they sort of fell off the radar.

    Looks like they're back.
     
    Newby, Jul 3, 2015
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  4. AllenChicago
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    Dave, the e-mail this past Thursday simply said to log into the agent's section of Partnership. Solutions. Strength. - Dearborn National and click on the "Announcements" link to see an important message. That letter I pasted was the important message.

    I don't like the way MGA's J.R. & Jim Jordan at the Colorado Bankers Services agency keeps the agent commissions upon the 10 year auto-rewrite of the LifeStyle Protector Term/CI plan. But they are a good family, personality wise. J.R. and Jim used to come to Illinois and conduct trainings twice a year back when Colorado Bankers Life was flying high. (Before 2010)
    -ac
     
  5. SusieQ2
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    Everything seems to be old on Colorado Bankers, any updates on how easy they are to do business with now. It's been a while since I wrote any of the CI but they were a great company a few years ago. Sounds like they might have changed but I am looking for an alternative to Assurity.
     
    SusieQ2, Apr 12, 2019
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  6. Newby
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    I’m not 100% sure but I think last year when all this was going down (see article below) that Colorado Bankers was one of the companies that had previously been bought up by Greg Lindbergh. No idea what has happened with them since.



    Federal subpoena targets North Carolina's largest campaign donor


    By Travis Fain, WRAL statehouse reporter

    Raleigh, N.C.

    — Greg Lindberg, the Durham investor who went from political obscurity to the state's largest campaign donor over the last two years, is the target of at least one federal grand jury subpoena seeking a trove of documents about his business dealings.

    A subpoena issued last month to the state Department of Insurance, which regulates a number of Lindberg's companies, indicates that a federal investigator with a background in white-collar crime and an FBI forensic auditor are involved. The subpoena came from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Andrew Murray's office in Charlotte.

    "An official criminal investigation of a suspected felony is being conducted by an agency of the United States and a federal grand jury," the cover letter states. An attached notice states that the "subpoena relates to an investigation of drug offenses, crimes against financial institutions, or money laundering crimes."

    Attempts to reach Lindberg for comment, both through a phone number for him that appears in DOI email records and through a trio of attorneys who have represented him, were not successful Tuesday. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the FBI.

    The subpoena seeks a broad range of documents going back to January 2014, essentially requiring the DOI to produce all of the records it has from the period relating to Lindberg and eight listed companies, including Eli Global and Global Bankers Insurance Group, both main holdings for the wealthy Durham investor.

    A source who has spoken to investigators said they were told there are multiple subpoenas in the case, and the investigation appears to span multiple states. Some of the companies listed on the DOI subpoena are based out of state.

    The investigation has been in progress for much, if not all, of 2018, the source said.

    Federal investigators have also reached out to the North Carolina Republican Party for information, Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse confirmed. Lindberg has given the party nearly $2 million over the last year or so. He began giving this year to the North Carolina Democratic Party as well, putting at least $500,000 into party operations and its building fund either personally or through one of his companies.

    The subpoena served on the DOI lists an FBI forensic accountant as one of the investigators. It also lists Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan, who has a history in complex financial fraud cases. Ryan was part of the federal mortgage fraud case against Bank of America that culminated in 2014 with the largest civil settlement with a single entity in U.S. history: $16.5 billion.

    Lindberg has given more than $5.2 million to North Carolina political campaigns in less than three years. He has declined repeatedly to answer media questions about it.

    Other key employees from Eli Global and Global Bankers Insurance, which are among the more than 300 companies Lindberg has registered, have given to state political campaigns as well.

    Lindberg is Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's largest donor as Forest heads into an assumed 2020 run for governor, giving $2.4 million to a pair of political groups that support Forest and can take unlimited donations. Forest said Tuesday that he'd heard an investigation existed and that Lindberg's name had been mentioned in connection with it.

    "Whether he's under investigation, I have no idea," Forest said. "Right now, I don't know anything about it.”

    Forest's office and his campaign said investigators have not reached out to them.

    Lindberg's first major foray into North Carolina politics came in 2016, when he put $350,000 into a PAC called the N.C. Opportunity Committee, which supported then-Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's re-election bid. Lindberg donated another $10,000 directly to Goodwin's campaign, the maximum allowed under state campaign finance rules at the time.

    Goodwin now chairs the North Carolina Democratic Party. He has frequently declined to discuss Lindberg, and he did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday. A spokesman for the Democratic Party declined to comment.

    Minutes from a party executive council meeting after Lindberg made his six-figure contributions to the Democratic Party quote Executive Director Kimberley Reynolds as saying Goodwin "personally obtained" the $250,000 building fund donation and that he "should get all the credit for it."

    Months after Republican Mike Causey beat Goodwin in the 2016 insurance commissioner's race, Lindberg sent Causey's campaign $5,000. Another $5,000 came the same day from Lindberg's wife.

    Both donations came in a week Causey was due to meet with Lindberg about his insurance businesses, the commissioner said, and his campaign returned the money.

    "There was an ongoing, just a routine financial examination, and out of an abundance of caution, we didn't want any questions to be raised,” Causey said.

    Two of Goodwin's top lieutenants at the insurance department – former deputy commissioners Ray Martinez and Louis Belo – went to work for Lindberg's companies soon after Goodwin lost his re-election bid in 2016. An attempt to reach them Tuesday at the main phone number for Global Bankers Insurance was not successful.

    Lindberg has given to insurance commissioner candidates in at least three other states: Georgia, Oklahoma and Washington, according tofollowthemoney.org, which has a partial database online of state-level giving in multiple states.

    Other executives within Lindberg's empire give as well. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported earlier this year that at least 11 employees and board members at Eli Global or Global Bankers Insurance gave to Republican insurance commissioner candidate Jay Florence's campaign.

    Eli Research put another $200,000 into a group called "Insuring America's Future," which sent out mailers supporting Florence, the newspaper reported, making the company this group's largest donor by far.

    In 2017, Goodwin invited people in North Carolina, including Lindberg, to a fundraiser for Florence, though the event was ultimately canceled. Democratic Party spokesman Robert Howard said Goodwin simply forwarded an emailed invitation to approximately 100 people he had contacts for, both in his private capacity and as part of his consulting business, Seaboard Strategic.

    "Wayne has worked for more than two decades in the insurance regulatory business and in his law practice, forging personal and professional relationships with Democrats and Republicans across the country," Howard said in an email.
     
    Newby, Apr 13, 2019
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  7. Newby
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    Here was his response to that WSJ article apparently:

    Greg Lindberg is a billionaire financier who owns several insurance companies amid his holdings. Lindberg has been under investigation for alleged financial impropriety and was profiled in a lengthy Wall Street Journal story last week.

    His colleagues and representatives spent weeks answering detailed questions from the Wall Street Journal. They claim key facts were omitted from the story. Facts such as:

    • There are numerous inaccuracies with respect to the use of the insurance funds to finance personal assets. For example, no insurance company money was used to purchase Mr. Lindberg's investments in the Idaho and Key West properties, his boat, or the airplanes, one of which was leased. Mr. Lindberg has never spent a night inside the Idaho house, the Key West house, or the Morning Mountain House, which are investments currently held for sale. The boat has $3 million a year in historical charter revenue which covers the majority of its operating expenses, and no insurance company funds were ever used in its acquisition or operation.
    • No insurance company has declared and paid a dividend to Mr Lindberg.
      To the contrary, Mr. Lindberg has invested over $500 million in his US insurance companies, including for the hiring of experienced leadership and the development of a state-of-the-art digital policy administration platform for the companies' new insurance products. Before he acquired his first insurance company, Mr. Lindberg established a no-dividend policy for each insurance company to protect policyholders and ensure that the capital that Mr. Lindberg had invested was permanent capital. That no dividend policy remains in place today.
    • Mr. Lindberg's US insurance companies have high levels of liquid assets (over $2 billion currently) and have current capital well in excess of minimum risk-based capital requirements.
    • Mr. Lindberg's affiliated investment strategy was approved in advance by the North Carolina Department of Insurance ("NCDOI") and other regulators, as applicable.
    • North Carolina, like many other states, does not explicitly prohibit or limit the investment of insurance company assets in affiliated entities. The North Carolina insurance holding company system regulatory act does restrict investment of insurance company assets by North Carolina insurance companies in subsidiaries (i.e., 10% of admitted assets or 50% of capital/surplus), but this provision does not apply to investments in affiliates.
    • Under the original agreement with the NCDOI in 2014, affiliated insurance investments and affiliated investment grade assets were not included in the 40% limit on affiliated investments agreed upon with the NCDOI. In 2016, Mr. Lindberg and team agreed with the NCDOI to modify the 40% limit to apply to all non-insurance affiliated investments. As agreed with the NCDOI in 2018, the companies are working with the NCDOI to bring the affiliated investments to 10% of assets.
    • In 2015, with the approval of the NCDOI, certain of the loans were disaffiliated under North Carolina law and equity capital was added to improve their rating to investment grade. This involved creating Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to hold the original loans, and Mr. Lindberg adding tens of millions of dollars in equity capital to the SPVs to improve their ratings to investment grade. The SPVs were separate LLCs managed by a third-party asset manager, as required under North Carolina law to disaffiliate these assets.
    • In full transparency with regulators, Mr. Lindberg's insurance companies have been providing a report to NCDOI detailing all NC insurance companies' assets and transactions every month since July 2017.
    • All of the private placements held by Mr. Lindberg's US insurance companies have been valued by an independent third party.
    • Mr. Lindberg's companies have used numerous third-party lenders. The capital provided by third party lenders and sellers for acquisitions is well over $500 million. Including refinances funded by third party lenders, that number is close to $1 billion.
    • The stock of companies where Mr. Lindberg has an economic interest is generally pledged to the insurance company lender in addition to being backed by the backstop/guarantee of Mr. Lindberg's entire net worth.
    • Mr. Lindberg's total capital provided for his US insurance operations is over $500 million. Mr. Lindberg has provided over $20 million to purchase third party defaulted assets at par, in addition to tens of millions in capital support to credit enhance loans, and in addition to the tens of millions of dollars of start-up expenses and other investments made by Mr. Lindberg in the US insurance companies.
    • The middle market lending program of Mr. Lindberg's insurance companies to companies where he maintains an economic interest has been an extraordinary success for policyholders: high yields, inflation protection, senior-secured with stock pledges of borrowers, diversified, and zero payment defaults. Combined with Mr. Lindberg's companies' sizable liquid corporate bond and money market portfolios, these middle market loan investments provide superior risk adjusted returns for policyholders. Policyholders at Mr. Lindberg's insurers have the best of both worlds: strong liquidity from a large $2 billion-plus liquid portfolio and high inflation-protected yields from middle market loans with a zero payment-default rate. Mr. Lindberg's insurers have not sacrificed overall portfolio liquidity in order to achieve superior returns.
    • Mr. Lindberg modeled his investing insurance assets in affiliated companies after that used by other insurers, such as Berkshire Hathaway. Mr. Lindberg's model predominantly focuses on investing insurance assets in inflation protected investments in companies with high barriers to entry, low capital expenditures, and stable and growing free cash flows, which would enable Mr. Lindberg's insurance companies to achieve high risk adjusted returns on these investments. A more traditional insurance model is to invest in long-term fixed income investments which potentially exposes policy holders to substantial interest rate risk, especially in today's rising rate environment. In addition, long-term fixed income investments carry credit market risk given that they are generally unsecured obligations unaccompanied by typical restrictive covenants required for senior secured debt.
    • As indicated above, many life insurers invest in less liquid assets to improve investment yields. While not all of Mr. Lindberg's insurance entities have made affiliated investments, some of his insurance entities have pursued an investment strategy of combining these private investments with a more traditional, well-diversified portfolio of publicly traded bonds.
    • Currently, Mr. Lindberg's US insurers hold over $2 billion of cash, cash equivalents, and liquid assets.
    • Correction: As a result of a typo, a previous statement said that "A big 4 accounting firm valued all of Mr. Lindberg's material affiliated assets and reported pre-tax net worth of $1.7 billion as of 12-31-17." This statement should have read: "A big 4 accounting firm valued all of Mr. Lindberg's material affiliated assets and another third-party auditor reported pre-tax net worth of $1.7 billion as of 12-31-17."
    • Mr. Lindberg started his business with $5,000 stuffing envelopes and writing a publication on home health care reimbursement. As the business has grown, Mr. Lindberg has delegated management to a competent and trustworthy group of leaders.
    • At the present time, Mr. Lindberg is hands off and relies on CEOs for each operating company and portfolio leaders who manage all the CEOs. In addition, Mr. Lindberg relies on a chief investment officer and a chief financial officer who help manage the portfolio leaders and the overall economics of the non-insurance enterprise. The result is a federation of autonomous businesses where the operating decisions are made by the CEOs, on the ground, who run the businesses.
    • Over the 27 years since Mr. Lindberg's first company was founded in 1991, Mr. Lindberg and team have developed an investment approach that has produced $1.7 billion in pretax net worth as of 12-31-17, and the management team has leveraged this investment expertise to find attractive investments for Mr. Lindberg's insurance companies, including investing in companies where Mr. Lindberg has an economic interest.
    • The majority of Mr. Lindberg's increase in net worth comes from substantial increases in EBITDA from his main investments. The increase in EBITDA comes from selecting the right high-barrier to entry, low capex, strong recurring revenue and high growth investments and hiring good management to run them, and empowering management to grow their businesses organically. This is a well proven formula for Mr. Lindberg's non-insurance entities.
    • Mr. Lindberg took and takes a keen interest in life insurance products to ensure that his US companies were and are not taking on risks that were or are not prudent. As a result of this focus, Mr. Lindberg's US insurance companies have avoided long-term care risks, market volatility risks, inflation risks, and other reserve risks. This mandate from Mr. Lindberg to focus on easy to understand and reserve liabilities has been a cornerstone of the growth of his US insurance operations.
    • Mr. Lindberg entered into the insurance industry with the dual goal of achieving returns for his insurance companies to protect policyholders and ultimately growing his overall enterprise. Insurance is inherently a spread business and all insurance companies have a strategy to make investment gains on their investment portfolios. There has been a long list of business luminaries who have been attracted to the insurance business for this reason.
     
    Newby, Apr 13, 2019
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  8. SusieQ2
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    Thanks for the update, much appreciated.
     
    SusieQ2, Apr 13, 2019
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  9. Newby
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    Who knows what the true story is. Sounds like it could be very politically motivated. Maybe he just pissed off Hillary or something.

    When you read into it a big part of the “crime” he is accused of was taking profits off one of his profitable divisions Southland National and using it to funds his struggling division which it looks like Colorado Bankers was a part of. I’m not educated in high finance enough to know why that’s not allowed. But apparently under one NC insurance commissioner it was fine. But when a new one took office it wasn’t.

    One thing is for sure. The guy built an empire. Whether or not he can hang on to it is anyone’s guess.

    AN INVESTIGATION
    Now the foundation of his business empire (and perhaps the source of his lavish spending) is being questioned, as state regulators pore over his business methods and a federal grand jury has indicted him on charges of bribery and conspiracy. (Lindberg denies the charges and says he’s innocent.)

    Eli Global’s performance really began taking off after 2014, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, when the company began investing more heavily in acquiring insurance companies. A Lindberg-owned subsidiary called Global Bankers Insurance Group managed the dozens of insurers Eli Global bought.

    But in 2017, the N.C. Department of Insurance began to question the financial health of Global Bankers Insurance Group’s companies. “There were loopholes being exploited,” N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey told The Charlotte Observer this week.

    For example, the company would take the assets from insurance companies it recently bought — such as burial-policy insurer Southland National Insurance Corp. — and invest it into Eli Global-owned companies, a process that is tightly regulated. According to the Wall Street Journal report, some states set limits that no more than 10% of an insurance company’s money can be invested in affiliated companies. That limit is meant to keep insurance companies solvent and protect policy holders.

    But in North Carolina, Lindberg was allowed to invest as much as 40% of assets into his other companies, an allowance made under former Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, who lost an election to Causey in 2016.

    The Journal investigation connected some of that money to purchases of things like the north Raleigh mansion and hosts of new businesses, such as a wine wholesaler and a chain of eye-doctor practices. A spokesperson for Lindberg told the Wall Street Journal the homes and yacht were investments.

    In a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, Lindberg was one of four people charged with bribery.

    The four, which included N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes and two Lindberg associates, are accused of trying to bribe Causey with $2 million in campaign contributions to get him to take actions favorable to one of Lindberg’s companies — including the removal of an insurance department employee responsible for regulating that firm. (Causey recorded conversations with Lindberg as part of the investigation.)

    MILLIONS IN DONATIONS
    Lindberg had developed a reputation for splashy political donations in the past few years.


    From 2016 to 2018, Lindberg donated just over $7.5 million to both super PACs and state and federal political committees, according to campaign finance records filed with the NC State Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission, The News & Observer has reported. That sum made him one of the biggest donors in the state.

    Most of the donations went to Republicans, but he also donated to Democrats, including Farad Ali, former Durham City Council member and mayoral candidate, and — notably — Wayne Goodwin, the former insurance commissioner and current chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party. Goodwin also did consulting work with Global Bankers Insurance Group after losing his re-election.

    In a statement, Goodwin said: “Any suggestion that I have ever taken any action in return for contributions is categorically false.”

    Lindberg made several donations to politicians in Florida and several other national political causes.

    Last year, he also pledged $1 million in scholarships over five years to North Carolina students who enroll in the state’s historically black colleges or universities. Lindberg worked with the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus Foundation on that scholarship, which is how State Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., D-Durham, met him.

    “I think he was concerned about their plight” around student debt, McKissick said in an interview about the donation.

    There was also talk about Eli Global potentially taking scholarship winners on as employees in the future to increase the diversity of the firm.

    McKissick said he met Lindberg only once, but he seemed genuine.

    “My impression was he seemed to be someone that was a nice person,” he said. “I didn’t have any reason to believe, in one encounter, that he was involved in something that was nefarious.”


    Read more here: Who is Greg Lindberg? The man at the center of the NCGOP bribery scandal
     
    Newby, Apr 13, 2019
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  10. Allen Trent
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    I believe Global Bankers mentioned above was denied by some state regulators in their acquisition attempt of Cincinnati Equitable and/or Lincoln Benefit. This following article mentions they backed out of the deal, but not sure which is true: Global Bankers dropped 2 deals as word emerged of federal criminal investigation

    They are apparently on a buying spree of buying smaller carriers. I thought I had Ohio Ins comm rejected the acquisition offer. Sometimes, regulators are worried the purchase of the carriers is merely to slowly bleed out the carrier or impact consumers by changing policies to only the bare minimum contractual policy guarantees.

    I saw on the news that Global Bankers announced 2 days ago they are selling off all insurance operations. I believe this would include Southland National & Colorado Bankers as Global bankers already owns both. Global Bankers Insurance to sell off life insurance operations

    So, not sure how Southland National can already be buying Colorado Bankers when their parent company owns both & has both for sale. Sounds like Global Bankers is merely combining those 2 companies to improve the efficiency to find a new buyer
     
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