Goldman Sachs-Backed Global Atlantic Said to Weigh IPO This Year

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-backed insurer Global Atlantic Financial Group is weighing an initial public offering as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The fixed-annuity seller is mulling an IPO in the fourth quarter or early 2018, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Goldman Sachs is helping with the listing plans, the people said. No final valuation has been set and the timing is not yet final, they added.

Representatives of Goldman Sachs and Global Atlantic declined to comment.

Insurers backed by money managers including private equity firms, banks and pension funds have done well in recent years. Fixed annuities, which help provide income to retirees, have become more popular amid an aging population. Global Atlantic, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, had more than $50 billion in assets at the end of December.

Athene Holding Ltd., which accounts for about a quarter of the asset-management fees earned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, went public in December. Athene’s stock has since climbed by about a third -- a consideration in the timing for Global Atlantic’s plans, the people said.

Global Atlantic was formed as part of Goldman Sachs in 2004 and separated almost a decade later as regulators imposed tighter capital standards. The majority stake was sold to institutions and high-net-worth clients, with Goldman Sachs retaining about a one-fifth holding.

Global Atlantic Chief Executive Officer Allan Levine has been seeking growth since the company separated from the bank. The insurer agreed to buy Forethought Financial Group in 2013 to expand assets under management to more than $30 billion at the time.

At the end of last year, Global Atlantic was the 13th-largest seller of annuities in the U.S. with $5.6 billion sold, according to data from industry group Limra. Athene is one spot behind.

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