Home Mutual, Baltimore Life to merge New company will have $700 million in assets, 380,000 policyholders

Life insurance

February 24, 1998|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

Two of Baltimore's oldest life insurance companies, Home Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Baltimore Life Insurance Co., said yesterday that they plan to merge, creating a company with more than $700 million in assets.

If the merger is approved by policyholders and the Maryland insurance commissioner, the combined company will be called Baltimore Life.

The companies said they hope to close the merger by Sept. 30.

L. John Pearson, president and chief executive officer for Baltimore Life, said the merger would not result initially in any loss of jobs, and the company is not embarking on an acquisition or merger strategy.

The strengths each company brings to the merger, Pearson said, should help the new company grow. Both companies, he said, were financially sound and poised for growth opportunities.

"The combined company will be even stronger financially and will gain additional marketing momentum, giving us the ability to accelerate growth," Pearson said.

John L. Parks, president and chief executive officer for Home Mutual Life, said his company was selective in choosing a merger partner. "They share our values, our approach to business, and our commitment to responsible fiscal management on behalf of policyholders," he said of Baltimore Life.

Home Mutual, based in Owings Mills, was founded in 1884. The company, which has $99 million in assets, sells whole life insurance and annuity products through a sales force of 120.

It has 108,000 policyholders in seven states and Washington. It will become one of four sales divisions within Baltimore Life.

Baltimore Life, also based in Owings Mills, was founded in 1882. It has $615.4 million in assets and 272,000 policyholders.

Its chief business is selling individual life insurance policies in Maryland and Pennsylvania, accounting for about 50 percent of sales.

It also has divisions dedicated to employer-based insurance plans and providing customized insurance and financial products for independent marketers.

Together the companies have $5.3 billion in active policies.

Pearson will serve as president and CEO of the new company, while Parks will serve as vice chairman.

The companies plan to combine operations into Baltimore Life's headquarters on Red Run Boulevard in Owings Mills.

Pub Date: 2/24/98

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