New York Life Agrees to Acquire Dexia Asset Management

New York Life Insurance Co., the largest U.S. life insurer owned by policyholders, agreed to acquire a Dexia SA unit for 380 million euros ($512 million) as it expands its business of managing money for investors.

Dexia Asset Management oversees about $100 billion, and the transaction will boost assets under management at New York Life Investments to more than $480 billion, the New York-based company said yesterday in a statement.

The deal “demonstrates our commitment to the global asset-management business which provides important earnings diversification,” New York Life Chief Executive Officer Ted Mathas said in the statement.

Mathas is among insurance executives expanding in asset management to increase fee income. New York Life struck a deal last year to take a stake in Cornerstone Capital Management Inc. Dexia, based in Paris and Brussels, is being wound down at the expense of French and Belgian taxpayers.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close on about Dec. 31, according to the statement.

New York Life is paying the same price that Dexia was set to receive in its agreement with Hong Kong-based GCS Capital in December last year, a transaction that fell through in July because GCS wasn’t able to meet its payment obligations.

Dexia Asset Management, which gathers about 60 percent of its assets from clients at Dexia’s former bank units in Belgium and Luxembourg, had a carrying value of 300 million euros in the company’s accounts at the end of June, according to its financial report.

A distribution agreement with Belfius Bank NV, the former Belgian bank unit now owned by the country’s government, was renewed in March for at least 6 years. Banque Internationale a Luxembourg SA, the former Dexia unit in Luxembourg, also agreed to retain Dexia AM as its preferred partner for asset management for 6 years starting in September.

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