OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a-" of Ozark National Life Insurance Company (Ozark) (Kansas City, MO) following its sale to National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Ozark’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
NWLIC entered into an agreement on Oct. 3, 2018 to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Ozark and N.I.S. Financial Services, Inc. This stock purchase agreement closed on Jan. 31, 2019.
AM Best notes that at transaction close, Ozark paid a $102.7 million dividend to its prior owner, CNS Corporation. However, despite the extraordinary dividend, Ozark’s risk-adjusted capital remains at the strongest level, as measured by AM Best. Additionally, AM Best anticipates no material changes to Ozark’s existing business model, which is focused primarily on selling simplified ordinary life products to the middle market. As a result, Ozark’s historically stable earnings pattern is likely to continue, albeit at a somewhat lower level, due to the impact of the recent dividend on its asset base.
While Ozark is expected to be maintained as a separate operating company from NWLIC, AM Best expects that Ozark will benefit from NWLIC’s resources, in particular its more extensive asset management capabilities and its more highly-developed ERM framework. AM Best will continue to monitor the impact of NWLIC’s integration of Ozark on the newly acquired company’s credit profile.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.
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