The sale of Safeco’s life insurance unit to investors, including Berkshire Hathaway and the White Mountains Insurance Group, closed at the end of July for $1.5 billion. The new owners have renamed the unit Symetra Financial, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

Safeco Asset Management, which manages the company’s mutual funds, is being shut down by its new owner. Reuters reports that the funds are now being managed by Pioneer Investments and will become part of the Pioneer fund family, pending shareholder approval.

Symetra is also relocating its 1,000 employees from their current location in Redmond, Wash., to Bellvue, Wash. The company’s manufacturing and marketing focus, life insurance and annuities sold through captive agents and third-party marketers, will not change.

Although the investors plan on reselling the insurer in the future, they are not counting on a sale any time soon. "Anytime you make an investment, you have to be prepared to hold it forever," said David Foy, chairman of White Mountains and former chief financial officer at Hartford Life. "If we have to hold onto this investment forever, we'd be very happy."

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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