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AIG, 21st Century Insurance, Farmers Group Inc.

American International Group has closed the sale of 21st Century Insurance Group, the wholly owned subsidiaries of AIG’s U.S. personal auto insurance business, to Farmers Group Inc. (FGI), a subsidiary of Zurich for $1.9 billion.

The $1.9 billion price consists of $1.7 billion in cash and $200 million in face amount of subordinated, Euro-denominated capital notes backed by Zurich Insurance Co., Zurich’s principal operating unit. Farmers also has assumed 21st Century’s outstanding debt of $100 million. The deal includes 18 insurance companies and 10 related non-insurance entities.

The transaction excludes the Private Client Group, which continues to provide property/casualty insurance to high-net-worth individuals under the AIU Holdings name.

In connection with the closing of the sale of 21st Century to Farmers, AIU Holdings sold its interest in 21st Century for $1.7 billion plus $200 million in notes backed by Zurich.

The AIG-Farmers deal went through a number of regulatory approvals. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) noted that nine of its member states approved the purchase. “The successful and efficient nature of this transaction is a testament to the value of state collaboration,” said Steve Poizner, California Insurance Commissioner and lead regulator on the purchase.

“The overriding goal of this transaction was to ensure that policyholders would not be adversely impacted,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario. “This is evidenced by the subgroup’s commitment to a thorough and comprehensive review of the terms of the purchase agreement.”

Originally announced on April 16, 2009, the sale affects AIG’s personal auto lines in companies located in the following nine states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

This acquisition by the Farmers Exchanges should strengthen Farmers’ place as a personal lines insurer in the United States, and position the Farmers Exchanges as the largest auto insurer in several states, including California. The acquisition is the largest in the 81-year history of Farmers.

The acquired companies operate in 49 states and Washington, D.C.; have more that 2.4 million customers; and insure more than 4 million vehicles in the United States, the company said.

According to Robert Woudstra, Farmers CEO, a national network of insurance agents will benefit from the acquisition. “This acquisition will enable 21st Century customers to have access to Farmers agents, who can help them with their other insurance needs, such as homeowners, business, specialty products, life insurance and financial service products,” he said.

Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Wachovia

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. announced that Wachovia Insurance Services Inc. has changed its name to Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. The combined business makes Wells Fargo the world’s fourth-largest insurance firm and the largest bank-owned insurance brokerage in the United States, the company said.

Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. will become a direct subsidiary of Wells Fargo Insurance Services next year.

Wells Fargo Insurance Services Inc., along with Wachovia Insurance Services, places $15.5 billion of risk premiums with expertise in property, casualty, benefits, international, personal lines and life products. The combined company has nearly 200 offices in 37 states and more than 7,500 insurance professionals.

Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Wachovia was approved in October 2008.

Lawson-Hawks, Truckee Insurance

Mountain View, Calif.-based Lawson-Hawks Insurance Associates Inc., a regional independent insurance broker, has acquired Truckee (California) Insurance Agency. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

John Miller, CEO of Lawson-Hawks Insurance Associates, said of the acquisition, “While we have built a substantial client base both in Sacramento and east of the capital city, we are absolutely delighted to have the physical presence in the Truckee, Greater Lake Tahoe and Reno, Nevada areas that this acquisition affords us.”

Bill Hanson, the tenured manager of the Truckee Insurance Agency, said the acquisition would allow the company to expand its depth of marketing to new prospective clients and servicing of existing client relationships. The company expects to become the dominant insurance brokerage in the Sierra.

Irene Brown will manage the commercial lines department in Truckee with Allyson Givens as her assistant account manager. Long-time associate Sheri Wade will serve private clients for homeowners, auto and other personal insurance needs.

Additionally, Lawson-Hawks will open a Reno, Nev., office to more effectively and efficiently bring services into the Nevada marketplace. Jennifer Pyle and Linda Eastman will focus on employee benefits sales and services, respectively, in the Reno office, as well as in the Greater Truckee area.

Founded in 1937, Lawson-Hawks is a national independent insurance brokerage providing risk management, commercial and personal lines insurance, association programs, retirement planning and employee benefits to more than 75,000 customers. Lawson-Hawks maintains other regional offices in Sacramento, Monterey, Modesto, San Francisco, Irvine and San Rafael, Calif.

Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Heffernan Insurance Brokers has hired 17 employees to form a new division named Heffernan Professional Practices Insurance Brokers, specializing in architects and engineers and lawyers professional liability. Heffernan Professional Practices will be based out of the company’s Palo Alto and Orange, Calif. offices.

The Palo Alto, California group will be led by Lou Moreno, senior vice president, and includes John Feeney, vice president, Marcia Kawabata, Brandie Kirby Leier, Marie Benjamin, Annel Cortes-Zargarian, Elizabeth Lee and Carol Arshakuni.

The Orange, Calif., group will be led by George DeWalt, senior vice president, and includes Young Suk, vice president, Gayle Pace, vice president, Sandi Moreno, Robert Lazaro, Marsha Bastian, Debbie Mackey, Jackie Riola and Diana Chau.

Armstrong/Robitaille/Riegle, Robco Insurance Services

Orange, Calif.-based Armstrong/Robitaille/ Riegle Business and Insurance Solutions has acquired Robco Insurance Services Inc. located in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Robco has been a familiar name for homeowner associations and property managers throughout California for the past 28 years, offering insurance programs for community associations which include commercial property, liability, umbrella, workers’ compensation and directors’ and officers’ liability.

Glenn Robinson, president of Robco Insurance Services, said his role will remain unchanged for current clients, while the new combined company will have freedom to explore new business models and delivery channels for landscape companies, attorneys, accountants and related vendors within the HOA community, including insurance coverages for the management companies themselves.

Robco will remain in their San Juan Capistrano location with no changes in staff.

Armstrong/Robitaille/Riegle Business and Insurance Solutions is a full-service agency offering commercial property and casualty, risk management, claims management, loss control programs, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, retirement plans, surety and personal lines coverages. The company also offers specialty insurance programs for industries such as financial, construction, metal finishers, real estate, nonprofits and social services, technology, healthcare and assisted living, manufacturing and the food industry.

Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, Watson Wyatt Worldwide

Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby Inc. and Watson Wyatt Worldwide Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt will combine in a merger of equals to form a new, publicly listed company called Towers Watson & Co.

Based on the closing price of Watson Wyatt common stock on June 26, 2009, the implied equity value of the transaction is approximately $3.5 billion. Watson Wyatt CEO John Haley will be CEO; Towers Perrin CEO Mark Mactas will be president.

“The combination of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt into Towers Watson will (leave the firm) … well positioned for sustained growth,” said Haley. “The combination will further strengthen our core service lines while offering our clients an enhanced portfolio of proven offerings across a range of financial, risk and people management areas.”

The combined firm will operate within four regions: North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, and will focus on three segments: Benefits, Talent and Rewards, and Risk and Financial Services.


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