Recognizing the need for progressive growth and expansion, Atlanta Life Insurance Co. has formed the Atlanta Life Financial Group Inc., a new holding company that allows the nation’s second largest black-owned life insurance company (No. 2 on the BE INSURANCE COMPANIES list with $194 million in assets) to become a full-service financial services organization. The 96-year-old company will be made up of the original Atlanta Life Insurance Co. and ALIC Investment Advisors L.L.C., a new entity that will offer asset-management services to institutions, high-net-worth individuals, and retail customers.
Establishment of the holding company was approved by Atlanta Life’s board of directors in May. Atlanta Life President and CEO Charles Cornelius says that the company will hire professional investment advisors, as well as explore relationships with asset management firms, to get ALIC Investment Advisors operational by the end of the year.
“We plan to expand on our mission of building wealth in the communities we serve,” says Cornelius. “We have more than 450,000 policyholders and solid institutional customers who have suggested that this is an arena that we should get into and [that could be of service to them].”
The Financial Modernization Act of 1999, which allows banks, brokerage, and insurance firms to expand into one another’s businesses, now allows Atlanta Life to offer a myriad of investment advisory products. Cornelius says the company will also offer updated insurance products. But to compete with other financial services firms, Atlanta Life’s reputation with its core policyholders will be its best weapon.
“We have brand equity,” explains Cornelius. “The Atlanta Life name has been in our customers’ households for generations. We’ve developed trust with our customers. They trust Atlanta life, and look to us to educate them in this area. It puts us in a unique position to help.”