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Apollo Global seeks more regulation for private equity insurers

Call for more regulation for insurers backed by investment firms

Top executives at private-equity giant Apollo Global Management LLC say they support more regulation and disclosure from life insurers that are backed by investment firms – as long as any extra oversight is applied equally across the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, executives from Apollo and its Athene Holding Ltd. Insurance made this request earlier this week at a meeting of state insurance commissioners meetings in Washington.

Since its founding in 1990, Apollo has grown to become one of the world's largest alternative investment managers.  As of September 30, 2013, they had total assets under management of $113 billion, with a team of 691 employees located in 10 offices around the world.

Apollo Senior Managing Director Marc Rowan told the panel that their request for “equal application” of regulation in order to maintain a “level playing field” to attract, “rather than repel capital” to the insurance industry.

“This is not us asking for a lack of regulation,” Apollo Senior Managing Director Marc Rowan told the panel. “It is us asking for equal application of regulation, to maintain a level playing field, and to attract, rather than repel capital” to the insurance industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports several big investment firms like Apollo have expanded their presence in a corner of the insurance industry known as fixed annuities that guarantees consistent payments to its scores of retirees and other customers.

Back in April, New York State pledged ‘modernize’ its regulations to deal with the increased presence and “troubling role” of private-equity firms like Apollo in selling annuities, which promise regular payments to policyholders.  Benjamin Lawsky, New York state superintendent of financial services, voiced concerns that insurers with such backing could be buying high-risk investments to back obligations to customers instead of the high-quality bonds favored by most traditional insurers.

 

Further reading:

Cyber-insurance: Mitigating the dreaded Friday night phone call

Preparing for proxy season: The changing face of directors and the challenges they face

Inside: The most dangerous piece of paper in business, the Certificate of Insurance

Contributing Author

Alexis Harrison

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