Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Beneficial Standard Life Insurance Co. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Beneficial Standard Life Insurance Co.

List of Deals

Beneficial Standard Life Insurance was incorporated in California in 1940. During the first few years of its organization, Beneficial was engaged primarily in the business of disability and automobile insurance. In 1943 it discontinued all lines of insurance other than disability and in 1944 it added life insurance. Its operations at the time were confined principally to the West Coast. In 1954, in order to expand its operations and become more geographically diverse, Beneficial acquired a controlling interest in Fidelity Interstate Life Insurance Company, a Pennsylvania health and accident firm.

In 1955 Beneficial purchased a major interest in Union Casualty and Life Insurance of New York, increasing the amount of life insurance in force from $100 million to $500 million. The Benefit Standard group, as it was commonly called, now included Fidelity Interstate Casualty Company and the Fidelity Interstate Life Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, the Beneficial Fire and Casualty Company, and the Citizens Company of California.

Beneficial acquired British Pacific Life Insurance Company in 1958. This purchase gave Beneficial the ability to write insurance throughout Canada. The cost of these acquisitions eventually had an impact on the bottom line of Beneficial. In 1958 net income for Beneficial Standard fell 28 percent from the previous year despite an increase in the sales of life insurance. Most of this was attributed to the cost of acquiring new businesses and consolidating operations.

Beneficial acquired Serrano Corporation in December 1961 at a value of approximately $4 million. Serrano was a privately held investment company whose principal asset was a block of land in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles. Beneficial purchased this company for the purpose of constructing a twenty-to-thirty-story office building on the site to house corporate offices.

The Beneficial Insurance Group commenced writing life, accident, and health insurance in New York in May 1963 through Beneficial National, organized by Beneficial for that purpose in 1962.

In 1964 Beneficial issued 550,000 additional shares of common stock to purchase Transit Casualty Company of St. Louis and a Transit Casualty subsidiary, Selective Insurance Company of Cincinnati. Both Transit and Selective were in the fire and casualty business nationally. With these acquisitions, the Beneficial insurance group exceeded $105 million in assets.

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