An investor group led by Fortress Investment Group LLC, a New York-based alternative asset manager, has acquired a controlling stake in Des Moines-based Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co., which relocated its headquarters from Baltimore in January.
On April 30, Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart granted approval, following testimony heard in a March 25 hearing, for control restrictions on the investors' convertible preferred stock in Harbinger Group Inc. to be removed.
The investor group, CF Turul LLC et al., in May 2011 invested $205 million in Harbinger, which indirectly owns 80.7 percent of Fidelity & Guaranty's outstanding shares. After the shares are converted, CF Turul, et al., which is owned directly and indirectly by a number of Fortress Investment funds along with Peter Briger Jr., CEO of Fortress Investment Group, and Constantine Dakolias, a Fortress co-chief investment officer, will own 16.1 percent of Harbinger common stock. Iowa law presumes control of an insurer at 10 percent or more ownership, which necessitated the hearing and order.
In the order, representatives of the investor group pledged that the change in control would have no impact on Fidelity & Guaranty's business and operations, and that the investors have no intent to make changes in senior management or to the board of the insurer. Iowa Insurance Division spokesman Tom Alger said, "The commissioner approved the change of control, as the filings and processes met all the requirements of Iowa law."
A New York-based spokesman for Fidelity & Guaranty declined to comment on behalf of his client.