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Securian Financial Group is buying employee benefits brokerage, Ochs Inc. Ochs’ client base is primarily public sector employers in Minnesota and the deal will allow it to expand while giving Securian an opening into the smaller employer market, the companies said in a statement.
“Securian has been successful in the large employer market and is looking for opportunities to extend that success in other markets,” said Securian spokeswoman Maggie Jensen in an e-mail. “Ochs Inc.’s experience with smaller and public sector employers will help us gain entree to those markets as well.”
While Ochs will be wholly owned by Securian, it will continue as an independent distributor, retain its brand, and represent multiple insurance carriers, Securian said. Ochs markets group life through Minnesota Life Insurance Co., a Securian company.
Jensen said there would be no job cuts as a result of the acquisition.
Thomas Ochs, chief executive officer of Ochs, will work on a succession plan with Securian, the company said.
“This company has been in my family for three generations and I want it to be in good hands when I retire,” said Ochs, 62, in a statement.
Ochs noted the brokerage plans on expanding into other states and said “Securian has the resources to fuel that growth and the intellectual capital to guide it successfully.”
The transaction is effective July 1. Terms were not disclosed.
In addition to life insurance, Ochs offers disability, long-term care, dental, and vision products offered by other carriers.
While the overall U.S. life/health industry saw a 2.1% decline in total life business issued in 2008, Securian Financial Group was one of three insurers that saw significant increases, according to an A.M. Best Statistical Study (BestWire, July 20, 2009). Securian saw a 30.4% sales increase, to $86.8 billion. The group life insurance division was responsible for the bulk of the increase, said Securian at the time.
Minnesota Life Insurance Co. and Securian Life Insurance Co. currently have Best’s Financial Strength Ratings of A+ (Superior).
(By Rick Cornejo, managing editor, BestWeek: firstname.lastname@example.org)