Principal Financial Group will stop selling U.S. retail fixed annuities and consumer life insurance products and pursue sales of blocks of those assets already in force, Bloomberg reported Monday afternoon. The company will continue selling variable annuities.
“The outcome will result in a more focused portfolio and stronger capital management strategy that we believe positions Principal for strengthened leadership in higher growth markets and greater capital efficiency, leading to higher expected shareholder returns,” Principal CEO Dan Houston said in a statement.
Principal said in February it planned a strategic review and appointed two new independent directors as part of a settlement agreement with activist investor Elliott Investment Management. The hedge fund had been pushing the company to explore selling or spinning off its more capital-intensive life-insurance business to focus on its more profitable wealth-management operations.
As part of the new strategy, Principal will also invest in growth areas such as global asset management and retirement businesses in the U.S. and select emerging markets, according to the statement.
The company also announced a $1.2 billion share-repurchase authorization.