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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: In this lawsuit, the right hand is suing the left


An investment journal that I follow just published an interesting story about an ironic twist embodied in a lawsuit involving an annuity company that bases much of its operations in Des Moines. The story by Investment News magazine illustrates how the right hand can indeed be suing the left, writes Bruce Kelly. “It’s a tale perhaps only possible in an era when the financial services industry is awash in private equity money: A large network of broker-dealers, Advisor Group Inc., is claiming in a lawsuit that an annuity manufacturer, the former Voya Insurance and Annuity Co., is in breach of contract and has turned its back on a marketing agreement that paid Advisor Group $300,000 per year.” The annuity company, now known as Venerable Holdings Inc., is owned in part by Reverence Capital Partners, which participated in buying Voya’s closed book of variable annuity business in 2018. Reverence is also the controlling owner of … wait for it … Advisor Group. Scott Silver, a plaintiff’s attorney quoted by Investment News, opined: “The issue is that these private equity managers have substantial financial interests in multiple entities or businesses that are highly regulated, yet there are no controls in place to make sure all the children are working together and even cooperating in business and marketing efforts.” As I outlined in a 2018 article that I wrote about Venerable, its ownership structure is complicated indeed, with multiple controlling interests. Read the Business Record Insider article

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