TO OUR POLICYHOLDERS
Every day I am proud of Assurity and what we do for clients, our associates and our communities. We remain, like our founders 125 years ago, purpose driven and principles led. No matter what the future holds, we will face it with confidence and ultimately prosper. This is our history and our legacy.
One of our founders’ guiding principles was the importance of maintaining unquestioned financial strength. This year, our surplus reached $348 million and our absolute level of capital and all our capital ratios were at record levels and much higher than industry average. Our investment portfolio is also pristine. Our high risk assets, at 2.2 percent of total investment assets, are indicative of a very conservative investment portfolio.
We have always striven to grow and change with the times, and in 2015, we undertook a number of new ventures. First, we acquired a majority interest in Resourcing Edge, Inc. (REI), a professional employer organization in Rockwall, Texas. We are excited about this new growth potential and the synergies with our basic business, and we welcome CEO Ted Crawford and his management team to the Assurity family.
We also formally established Assurity Real Estate Development Corp. (ADEV). Assurity has had a long successful history in real estate investment and development, and ADEV will bring greater focus to this work.
Innovative disruption is impacting many industries, including life and health insurance. To stay abreast of new developments in the Fintech space, we have formed Assurity Ventures, Inc. (AVI). AVI’s purpose is to partner or invest in promising Fintech startups. We also elected Ryan Downs, CEO of Proxibid, and David Graff, CEO of Hudl, to our board at our May annual meeting. Both are successful technology entrepreneurs, and I believe they will provide valuable insight in the years ahead.
I’m also pleased to report that after a year-long effort, Assurity became a certified B Corporation. B Corp status is awarded by the U.S.-based non-profit B Lab, which assesses a company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community and the environment against a set of standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We are delighted to be the first major life and specialty health insurer to join a global movement to redefine success in business, alongside companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s and Warby Parker glasses.
Becoming a certified B Corp is consistent with Assurity’s status as a mutual company. Yes, profits are important. But we also recognize our greater corporate social responsibility to our employees, the community and the environment.
One important key to our 125 years of success is to have engaged associates in the home office. A Gallup Association engagement survey conducted last October showed we rank in the 91st percentile of all companies Gallup surveys worldwide. We were also again voted one of Lincoln’s best places to work in the large employer category. In the long run, any company wins by being able to attract and retain the best and the brightest talent.
Finally, all of us at Assurity extend our sincere appreciation to two members of our board of directors who retired this year: Dr. Jim McClurg and Frank Hilsabeck, both of whom gave wise counsel and insights benefitting Assurity for many years. We sincerely thank them for their dedicated service.
Thomas E. Henning
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer