The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

  • Overview

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America keeps a sharp eye on the investments of its policyholders. Guardian and its subsidiaries offer life insurance, disability income insurance, and retirement programs to individuals, business owners, and their employees. Its employee health indemnity plans provide HMO, PPO, and dental and vision plans, as well as disability plans. Its Guardian Insurance & Annuity subsidiary offers retirement options that include mutual funds and annuity products, which its Guardian Investor Services manages. Guardian also offers estate planning and education savings programs. The firm is a mutual company owned by its policyholders.

Geographic Reach

Guardian Life's largest operating markets (by number of associates) include New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Washington State.

Operations

Like other bread-and-butter life insurance companies, Guardian took advantage of the deregulated financial services market and built up its wealth management capabilities to target baby boomers readying for retirement. Over the years it created broker-dealer Park Avenue Securities and launched Guardian Trust Company to offer trust and investment management services. Guardian also added subsidiaries in complementary fields through acquisitions, such as disability insurance specialist Berkshire Life Insurance and investment management firm RS Investments.

Guardian Life's employee benefits programs cover some 6 million members at some 115,000 companies. The benefits division also operates one of the largest dental networks in the US through its DentalGuard plan, including more than 88,000 dentists across the US.

Sales and Marketing

Some 3,500 financial representatives in more than 90 agencies throughout the US distribute the company's products. Guardian has taken advantage of its stability by building up its distribution force. It added several hundred field agents in anticipation of future growth during 2012. It is also investing in technology to support its services, and it is focusing on building up its sales to small businesses and individuals.

Financial Performance

Through these measures, Guardian continued to achieve solid financial results in fiscal 2012, with revenues increasing 3% to nearly $8 billion due to higher premiums, annuity considerations, and fund deposits, as well as growth in investment and other income earnings. Net income also rose by 29% that year to $253 million due to higher revenues and net realized capital gains.

Like most mutual life insurers, Guardian only experienced minor losses during the economic crisis of 2008. Its conservative investment practices, which may have seemed dowdy in headier times, protected the company's holdings.

Strategy

To achieve growth, Guardian takes a long view of things in setting its strategic goals. It selectively invests in opportunities that support its financial stability and strength in order to heighten its ability to pay competitive policyholder dividends over time. The company also forms strategic partnerships; in 2012 the firm teamed up with Allstate Benefits to increase distribution of its DentalGuard plans. It also improved customer service tools by adding a provider locating mobile application for dental and vision plan members. It also widened options for its investment customers by adding new funding vehicle options.

In 2011 the company worked toward positioning itself for future growth and bolstered its competitive edge by preparing its group employee benefits business for expected post-health care reform changes. Steps taken included adding new products, enhancing support services, customizing worksite and voluntary benefit offerings, and expanding the benefit distribution networks. Additionally, Guardian added new life insurance policy options and individual disability products to expand customer options.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2012, Guardian expanded its dental PPO operations through the acquisition of MasterCare DENTS. The purchase added members and providers in the southwestern US. In addition, the firm added absence management services through the buy of Reed Group in 2013; that acquisition bolstered the company's disability operations.

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The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America


7 Hanover Sq.
New York, NY 10004-4025
Phone: (212) 598-8000
Fax: (212) 919-2170
www.guardianlife.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private Mutual Company
  • President and CEO: Deanna Mulligan
  • COO: D. Scott Dolfi
  • President and CEO: Deanna Mulligan

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY

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