First Executive Is Still Up For Grabs

The First Executive saga continues. After a two-week struggle to line up industry backers, an organization representing state insurance guaranty funds has lost out in its bid for the failed life insurer. At a Nov. 6 press conference, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi dismissed the organization's offer, which was backed by a $1 billion line of credit amassed by 20 large insurers. Garamendi maintained that the capital could not safely cover First Executive's liabilities.

Garamendi's action could attract sweetened offers from French insurer Altus Finance and San Francisco investment bankers Hellman & Friedman. Both bid previously and have until Nov. 11 to file new offers with Garamendi.

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