Jackson National to buy Swiss Re’s U.S. life business

Jackson National Life Insurance Co. will pay $621 million in cash for the life insurance assets of Swiss Re Group’s American division. The deal will present Lansing, Mich.-based Jackson with assets linked to $10 billion in closed life insurance business and about 1.5 million policies.

“We have different sources of revenue and we’re tasked with growing all of them so that we’re not completely dependent on one source,” said Mike Wells, chief executive of Jackson. “This transaction is a nice pickup in operating income and improves the quality of our earnings and increases our size.”

Jackson’s efforts to diversify earnings come as the variable annuity industry is expected to see slower growth in 2012 because the products have become more expensive and less attractive. Some firms, including The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., have retreated from the variable annuity business altogether.

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