About Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc.

While its heritage may be Western and Southern, Western & Southern Financial Group covers the northern and eastern US as well. The company offers a variety of life insurance products and annuities, accident and supplemental health coverage, mutual funds, and other investment management products and services. Western & Southern's financial services include mutual fund administration, trust services, financial advisory, and real estate development; it owns or manages some $68 billion in assets. The company is licensed in most states and in Washington, DC.

Operations

Western & Southern Financial operates more than a dozen subsidiaries that offer everything from critical illness insurance to funds and annuities. Some of the company's subsidiaries include Western & Southern Life Insurance, (life and health insurance products, fixed annuities), and Western-Southern Life Assurance (universal life, term life, and annuities). Other insurance divisions include Columbus Life Insurance, Integrity Life Insurance, Lafayette Life Insurance, and National Integrity Life Insurance Company.

Western & Southern also operates Fort Washington Investment Advisors to manage private equity assets for corporate and government institutions and wealthy individuals; that unit has some $49 billion under management. Other financial services offerings include mutual fund management through Touchstone Investments.

The company's Eagle Realty Group participates in commercial real estate investment. Eagle Realty's current projects include upscale hotels in Cincinnati's historic Lytle Park District.

Other member companies include IFS Financial Services, Peppertree Partners, Touchstone Advisors, Touchstone Securities, W&S Financial Group Distributors, and W&S Brokerage Services.

Geographic Reach

Western & Southern Financial's Western & Southern Life Insurance subsidiary operates about 140 field offices around the US.

Sales and Marketing

Western & Southern Financial markets its products and services through a sales force of direct representatives; it also sells through a network of independent agents and financial planners. Altogether, its sales network comprises some 52,000 licensed entities.

Western & Southern's customer base is wide and varied, consisting of individuals and families of all income levels, large corporations, small to midsized businesses, financial institutions, real estate investors, and not-for-profit entities. The group conducts advertising through television commercials.

Financial Performance

Like many conservative mutual insurers, Western & Southern Financial holds a long-term investment strategy that has served it well financially. In 2015, its revenue totaled $3.3 billion, a record high for the group. The following year revenue remained relatively flat, falling $2.3 million to stay at $3.3 billion. Although the company's insurance premiums and product charges rose 4% that year, investment income and commissions and fees saw a decline.

An increase in policyholder benefits payouts and income tax expenses led net income to decline 3% to $387.7 million in 2016.

Strategy

Over the past few decades, Western & Southern Financial has transformed into a diversified financial services juggernaut, buying and launching money management firms and insurance and annuity businesses. Its strategy centers around four pillars: people, technology, product, and multi-channel access.

In terms of people, Western & Southern works to create a work culture to attract the best employees at all levels.

The group is also investing in technology to enhance its services and increase data and analytics capabilities. It has recently formed internal teams to work on improving clients' digital experiences. In 2016 the primary investment arm, Fort Washington, expanded its data governance capabilities as well as installing a new technology platform serving its private client group.

Another way the group grows is by launching new products aimed at filling gaps in its operations. For example, in 2015 W&S Financial Group Distributors launched a new variable annuity living benefit rider, Guaranteed Lifetime Income Advantage Plus. It also introduced Indextra, a single premium deferred fixed indexed annuity issued by Integrity Life Insurance. The following year, Touchstone Investments launched two new funds.

Finally, to expand multi-channel access, the company seeks to reach otherwise underserved middle-market customers by extending weekend and evening sales, expanding its online sales presence, and providing more bilingual sales information online.

Other initiatives as of late have included streamlining its organizational structure for higher operating efficiency.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017, Western & Southern Financial subsidiary Touchstone Advisors agreed to buy certain assets of Sentinel Asset Management, a National Life Holding Company subsidiary. Through that deal, Touchstone's assets under management will increase to $20 billion.

Western & Southern Financial completed 20 new equity investments in 2016. Its total acquisition and related development costs totaled nearly $1 billion.

Company Background

Western & Southern was founded in 1888.

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Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc.

400 Broadway St
Cincinnati, OH 45202-3312
Phone: 1 (866) 832-7719

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman, President and CEO: John F. Barrett
  • SVP and CIO: Karen A. Chamberlain
  • SVP and CFO: Bradley J. Hunkler
  • 2013 Employees: 4,000

Major Office Locations

  • Cincinnati, OH