The sale of Safecos 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.
Symetra is also relocating its 1,000 employees from their current location in Redmond, Wash., to Bellvue, Wash. The companys 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."