Another insurance company is exiting the independent broker-dealer business. Symetra Financial Corp. said today it intends to sell its broker-dealer to John Hancock Financial Services Inc., a unit of Manulife Financial Corp.
Symetra Investment Services Inc., with about 280 registered representatives, would become affiliated with the John Hancock Financial Network. Signator Investors Inc., with 1,600 reps and advisers, works under the John Hancock Financial Network umbrella.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in three to six months, were not disclosed.
“Given Symetra's current product lineup, [Symetra Investment Services] is no longer a good strategic fit for us as a distribution channel,” Tom Mara, chief executive of Symetra Financial Corp., the parent company, said in a statement.
Insurance companies have been dumping independent broker-dealers since the credit crisis, afraid of the expense and the risk associated with the securities industry. Slumping variable annuities sales also have soured insurance companies on owning distribution networks such as independent broker-dealers.
In April, Cetera Financial Group said it was buying two broker-dealers owned by MetLife Inc., which this year has scaled back its adviser sales force dramatically.
Also, insurer Western & Southern Financial Group is selling the assets of its independent broker-dealer, Capital Analysts Inc., to Lincoln Investment Planning Inc. and insurer Genworth Financial Inc. has sold its independent broker-dealer subsidiary, Genworth Financial Securities Corp., to Cetera Financial Group for $78.5 million, plus an earn-out provision.