Symetra to be Acquired by Japanese Insurer

Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance.

Symetra Financial Corporation has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Sumitomo Life Insurance Company.

Sumitomo Life, founded in 1907 and headquartered in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, is a life insurer in Japan with multi-channel, multi-product life insurance businesses. Sumitomo Life provides traditional mortality life insurance, nursing care, medical care and retirement plans through sales representatives, insurance outlets, the Internet and bancassurance. As of March 31, 2015, Sumitomo Life had $229 billion in assets, approximately 6.8 million customers and 42,000 employees.                     

Symetra, founded in 1957 and based in Bellevue, Washington, provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefits consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisers. As of June 30, 2015, Symetra had $34 billion in assets, approximately 1.7 million customers, and 1,400 employees nationwide.

Symetra will become Sumitomo Life’s platform in the U.S., where Sumitomo Life does not currently have a material operational presence. Thomas M. Marra, Symetra’s president and chief executive officer, will continue to lead the business from Symetra’s headquarters in Bellevue, along with the current management team. Symetra will maintain its independent brand, employees, distribution channels and product mix.

Masahiro Hashimoto, president and CEO of Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, said, “We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to acquire Symetra’s dynamic business and believe that a transaction will be mutually beneficial and will create significant value for both Symetra and Sumitomo Life.”

Thomas Marra, president and CEO of Symetra, said, “Our vision and long-term plans for building Symetra into a national player are unchanged. We will be positioned better than ever to successfully execute on these plans.”

The transaction, which was unanimously approved by Symetra’s board of directors, is expected to close late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2016 and is subject to the approval of Symetra’s shareholders and regulators, and to other customary closing conditions.