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Baltimore insurer to relocate to Des Moines

Published: Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 10:50 a.m. CST

DES MOINES (AP) — A Baltimore-based life insurance company is moving its corporate offices to Des Moines and it plans to employ 50 workers within the next three years, a company spokesman said.

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. already has a temporary location in downtown Des Moines, a presence that will grow as it makes the headquarters transition, The Des Moines Register reported Saturday.

The company sells annuities and life insurance. It has 180 employees, with 150 of those in Baltimore and 30 in Lincoln, Neb., spokesman Paul Tyler said.

The company intends to keep those offices and staff members, but channel its future growth to Des Moines, he said.

“Iowa is attractive to us because it has a deep insurance talent pool, a sophisticated regulatory approach to indexed products, and strong business climate,” CEO Lee Launer said in a statement.

The insurance industry employs about 24,000 people in the Des Moines area and the Iowa Insurance Division, the state’s insurance regulatory agency, said 212 insurance companies are based in Iowa.

Fidelity & Guaranty’s announcement was likely good news for workers given layoff notices from Aviva USA this year. The insurance company most recently cut about 90 workers after it was bought by Athene Holding Ltd., a company owned by private equity fund Apollo Global Management.

Fidelity Guaranty executives were aware of that pool of insurance professionals, Tyler said.

“There’s a lot of good talent in the area and we respect what the people have done at Aviva the last 10 or 15 years,” he said. Tyler noted that Fidelity & Guaranty received no incentives from Iowa.

Fidelity & Guaranty’s parent company is the New York City-based Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund.

Tyler indicated an initial public offering of shares by Fidelity & Guaranty is planned.

If taken public, the company would join other publicly traded insurers based in Iowa, including Principal Financial Group, FBL Financial, American Equity Investment Life and EMC Insurance Group.

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