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Iowa’s Friendlier Watchdogs Lead Insurer Pack to Des Moines

After Symetra Financial Corp. was formed in 2004, the life insurer set up shop in a 25-story glass tower outside Seattle, put its name on the building and pushed the state to adopt more favorable rules for its business.

The company advocated for a law to reduce its cost of investing in derivatives, saying that without the change it might have to move somewhere more welcoming. The bill languished in the Washington state legislature last year, and in January Symetra made good on its promise. It said it would switch the legal domicile of its main life insurer to Iowa.