Primerica Financial Services

Infobox Company
name = Primerica Financial Services
type = Subsidiary
parent = Citigroup
company_slogan = "Help families become debt free and financially independent"
foundation = February 10, 1977
location = 3120 Breckinridge Blvd.
Duluth, GA
(770) 381-1000
key_people = John Addison, Co-CEO
Rick Williams, Co-CEO and COO
Glenn Williams, President
industry = Financial Services
products = Life Insurance
mutual funds
Variable Annuities
Long-Term Care Insurance
Legal Services Car insurance Homeowners Insurance
net_income = gain US $544 million (2007)cite news |first = Paritosh |last = Bansal |url = |title = Citi gets initial bids for Primerica unit: sources |publisher = [ Reuters UK] |date= 2008-06-06 |accessdate = 2008-06-15]
equity = US $7 billion (2007)
num_employees = 2,200 (2007)
homepage = []

Primerica Financial Services (PFS), is a financial services company and is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia. It is the largest financial services marketing organization in North America with more than 100,000 licensed independent representatives, 26,000 of whom are FINRA securities licensed through PFS Investments, Inc., Primerica's securities broker-dealer affiliate.Primerica's History,] The company provides financial products and services through its affiliates that include term life insurance, mutual funds, variable annuities, loans, long-term care insurance and pre-paid legal services, to over 6 million clients through a network marketing formatted sales model. In August 2007 Primerica and Answer Financial introduced [ Primerica Secure] , an auto and homeowner's insurance referral program to get today's most competitive quotes in the market among dozens of insurance carriers. Primerica conducts business principally in the US. Primerica first expanded internationally in 1986 when it began operating in Canada. [ [ Primerica Financial Services Timeline] ] In 2000 the company expanded overseas to Spain, commencing operations as [ CitiSoluciones] . [cite news |first = Leslie Werstein |last = Hann |url = |title = Primerica's Overseas Expansion Targets Spain's Middle Class |publisher = [ Best's Review] |date= 2000-09-01 |accessdate = 2008-06-15] Primerica is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, having been replaced in 1991 by J.P. Morgan. [ [ History of DJIA,] ]


Founded in 1977 by Arthur L. Williams, Jr. as A.L. Williams & Associates (A.L. Williams), the company established a market niche by mass-marketing the concept of "Buy term and invest the difference." With "BTID", the company advised its mostly middle-income client base to purchase sufficient protection with term life insurance and systematically save and invest in separate investment vehicles, such as mutual funds IRAs. A.L. Williams was initially established as a privately held general agency, at first selling term life insurance policies underwritten by Financial Assurance, Inc. (FAI).

The company expanded, outgrowing the capacity of FAI to process its business. In 1980, A.L. Williams entered into a contract with a larger underwriter of life insurance, Boston-based Massachusetts Indemnity and Life Insurance Company (MILICO), whose parent was PennCorp Financial Services, based in Santa Monica. To support A.L. Williams, headquartered in Atlanta, MILICO established a regional office in that city. In 1981, the company established First American National Corporation (later called The A.L. Williams Corporation) as a holding company for First American Life Insurance (later renamed A.L. Williams Life Insurance Company) and First American National Securities (later renamed PFS Investments, Inc). In 1982, The A.L. Williams Corporation (ALWC) underwrote a $27 million public stock offering, listed in the Over the Counter (OTC) market under the symbol ALWC. In 1983, the company became listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the same symbol.

Origin of "Primerica" name

PennCorp's massive growth due to MILICO's underwriting explosion caught the attention of Bill Woodside, Chairman & CEO of American Can Company, a former Dow Jones 30 blue chip can and container producing company based in Greenwich, Connecticut founded in 1901. [ [ Citigroup Family Tree History] ] Due to the growing rise of plastic as replacement of aluminum cans, the company looked to acquire financial services and move away from the dying manufacturing industry, having acquired life insurance holding company Associated Madison from Gerry Tsai Jr in 1982. With this acquisition Woodside created a new financial services division for American Can and hired Tsai as the new head, who would later succeed him as Chairman & CEO. In September 1982 American Can and PennCorp signed a merger agreement. In 1983 the merger was finalized, making American Can the parent company of PennCorp and MILICO, signing a new contract with ALWC through the year 2000. In 1986 Triangle Industries bought American Can's packaging division, along with rights to the name of the company. Therefore on March 6, 1987 American Can announced that it would change its 86-year-old name to Primerica Corporation, [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = American Can Picks a Name |publisher = The New York Times |date= 1987-03-07 |accessdate = 2008-01-26] hence giving birth to the new and currently recognized name "Primerica."

Acquisition by Sandy Weill

The newly-named Primerica Corporation targeted Smith Barney as the first significant purchase that moved the company completely into financial services with the May 1987 announcement of its intent to buy the Wall Street brokerage for $750 million, [cite news |first = Merrill |last = Perlman |url = |title = WEEK IN BUSINESS; PRIMERICA SHARPENS ITS FINANCIAL FOCUS |publisher = The New York Times |date= 1987-05-31 |accessdate = 2008-06-29] which would later end up as Primerica's sister company under Citigroup in 1998.

In 1985 ALWC began the procedure to open business in Canada. After encountering legal and cultural roadblocks to expanding outside the United States, ALWC finally began selling insurance products of Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company, a Primerica subsidiary, in Canada in 1986.

On November 30, 1988 ALWC acquired MILICO from Primerica Corporation through a stock merger acquisition for 44.58 million shares of ALWC stock, making Primerica Corporation the majority shareholder of ALWC. In December 1988, Sandy Weill's Commercial Credit acquired Primerica Corporation for $1.54 billion, retaining the Primerica name. At this time, the major businesses under Primerica Corporation included A.L. Williams, Smith Barney and Commercial Credit. On February 6, 1989 Primerica Corporation began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Travelers and Citigroup Era

In November 1989, Primerica purchased the remaining 30% of ALWC that it did not previously own, and also purchased the privately held General Agent, A.L. Williams, Inc. In 1991, Primerica Corporation changed the name of A.L. Williams to Primerica Financial Services. The following year MILICO, Primerica's life insurance underwriter, changed its name to Primerica Life Insurance Company, and its broker-dealer FANS changed to PFS Investments, Inc.

Primerica Corporation, in December 1993, acquired the remaining 73% of Travelers Insurance Corporation and adopted the name, Travelers Inc., which was changed to Travelers Group the following year. Travelers Group included Primerica Financial Services, Smith Barney, Travelers Life and Annuity, Travelers Property/Casualty, Commercial Credit and other financial businesses.

In December 1997, Primerica announced it was going to begin offering pre-paid legal through Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., at the time both subsidiaries of Travelers Group, Inc. [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = Primerica Financial Services to Offer Legal Plans Through Pre-paid Legal Services, Inc |publisher = Business Wire |date= 1997-12-19 |accessdate = 2007-08-20]

In 1998, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission censured and fined PFS Investments Inc., the securities arm for Primerica, for failure to properly supervise a group of registered representatives in Dearborn, Michigan. The SEC found that PFS Investments Inc. had failed to have in place effective policies and procedures to follow up adequately on three complaints received about the Dearborn registered representatives' "selling away" activities. Prior to the SEC's ruling, PFS Investments Inc. voluntarily hired an independent consultant to review its supervisory, compliance, policies and procedures to prevent and detect violations of the federal securities laws. By the date of the ruling, PFS Investments had complied with the final recommendations made by the independent consultant. []

In 1998, Travelers Group and banking giant Citicorp Trust Bank, fsb merged creating Citigroup (NYSE|C). Primerica and its affiliates continue to operate as subsidiaries of Citigroup, although the Travelers insurance business was spun off in 2002. Along with Primerica, other major brand names under Citigroup include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Citicorp Trust Bank, Smith Barney, and Banamex.

Long-time veteran executives John Addison and Rick Williams, whom Art Williams quoted in his book "Coach" as "two true sons of A.L. Williams", [cite book |last= Williams |first= Art |coauthors= Karen Kassel Hutto |authorlink= Arthur L. Williams, Jr. |title= Coach |month= June |year= 2006 |publisher= Art Williams Productions |location= Atlanta, Georgia |isbn= 0-9786266-0-5 ] were hired as co-CEOs in 2000, with Glen Williams promoted to President in 2005. [Primerica Leadership,]

2007 Convention

. [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = Atlanta’s Largest Corporate Convention Raises Attendance |publisher = [ Atlanta Convention and Visitor's Bureau] |date= |accessdate = 2007-12-21|format=PDF]


In 2005cite news | first = Ryan | last = Kairer | title = Primerica Deploys 4,000 Palm Devices | publisher = [ Palm Infocenter] | date = 2005-08-30 | url = | accessdate=2007-08-31] Primerica representatives were able to begin submitting life insurance applications electronically through the TurboAppscite news | first = | last = | title = Primerica Financial Services Uses Palm Devices to Automate Insurance Application Review | publisher = [ Palm, Inc.] | date = | url = | accessdate=2007-10-13] application developed by the Primerica Field Technology team via Palm handheld devices.cite news | first = | last = | title = Primerica Runs Customized Financial Services Application on Palm Handhelds and Smartphones | publisher = Business Wire | date = 2005-08-30| url = | accessdate=2007-10-13] Clients have the opportunity to get insurance quotes on the spot and complete the life application paperlessly. This effectively sped up the underwriting process for Primerica Life and increased the amount of policies processed and insurance face amount put into force on a monthly basis.cite news |first = Michael |last = Sisk | title = Primerica Experiment in Insurance Pays Off | publisher = [ US Banker] | date = 2005-11-01 | url = | accessdate=2007-08-31] In 2007 the electronic application process was extended to include the $.M.A.R.T. loan program, now offered through CitiMortgage, reducing the time for a pre-approval and debt solution to as little as 6 hours. The inclusion of the Independent Business Application was also included in 2007 to reduce the time needed to get a new recruit into the system and through state mandated pre-licensing classes.

Ratings, Awards, and Commendations

Primerica's life insurance underwriter Primerica Life Insurance Company and its New York subsidiary National Benefit Life are rated A+ as "Superior" by A. M. Best as of May 2008. [cite news |first = |last = |url ={40016672-5FBA-488F-BA7A-C43F3F23AF0E} |title = A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Primerica Life Insurance Company and Its Subsidiaries |publisher = [ Market Watch] |date= 2008-05-15 |accessdate = 2008-06-20] Standard & Poor's has the company rated AA as "Very Strong." [ [,1,5,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,3,0,442,0,0,0.html Primerica Life S&P Rating] ] The [ Insurance Marketplace Standards Association] , a non-profit organization based out of Bethesda, MD with the intent to create ethical standards for the insurance industry, has renewed qualification for Primerica Life and National Benefit Life for high standards and quality business, "continuing dedication to ethical business practices." [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = Primerica Life, National Benefit Life Renew Qualification in IMSA, Ethical Standards Organization |publisher = [ News Blaze] |date= March 2007 |accessdate = 2007-08-20]

In 2007, Primerica received its fourth Dalbar Service Award from Dalbar, Inc., a client service rating organization focused on raising the standards of customer satisfaction and quality in the financial services industry, for Primerica's excellent customer service in mutual funds. [cite news |first = Kathleen |last = Whalen |url = |title = DALBAR Announces Its 2006 Customer Service Award Winners in Financial Services |publisher = [ Dalbar] |date= 2007-01-17 |accessdate = 2007-08-31]

Bruce Sankin, an investment counselor, consumer advocate, and columnist, [Bruce N. Sankin, "What All Stock & Mutual Fund Investors Should Know!", 2005, pp. 3, 5.] wrote in his 2005 book "What All Stock & Mutual Fund Investors Should Know!" of the Financial Needs Analysis that Primerica provides to its customers:

A good financial analysis will give you a "Game Plan" on how to attain your financial goal. Many companies offer financial analysis. A financial analysis will cost between a few hundred dollars to as high as a few thousand dollars. One company, Primerica Financial Services, which is a division of Citigroup, offers the best value for a professional financial analysis. Primerica, which creates a custom design financial report, does not charge a monetary fee for this service. Their marketing approach is, if you are satisfied with the service provided in the creation of their financial analysis, they ask for referrals as their fee. [Bruce N. Sankin, "What All Stock & Mutual Fund Investors Should Know!", 2005, p. 28.]

George Boelcke, a financial consultant, [George Boelcke, "It's Your Money"] wrote in an article in the "American Chronicle": [cite news |first = George |last = Boelcke |url = |title = The Escalating Mortgage Crisis: Questions, Answers & A Company You Should Know About| publisher = [] |date = 2008-02-17 |accessdate = 2008-09-10]

Yet there is a huge company, Primerica Financial Services, a division of Citigroup, that has made vast numbers of refinance mortgage loans through a product they call SMART. NONE of these are adjustable rate mortgages. Read that again: Primerica has never originated any ARMs with their refinance products (done through Citicorp Trust Bank). Their clients are watching the mortgage crisis from the sidelines and the safely of a fixed-rate term and consolidation, thinking: "that could have been me in a foreclosure…"

Because they refuse to do false, misleading, or gimmick advertising, they need to work harder to make themselves known, in spite of doing the right thing, in the right way, all the time? How sad that credibility can so often be bought by simple advertising. But if you´re looking for a second opinion, some options, or perhaps a way out, it might be worth your time to get in touch with them.

Possible sale of Primerica

Citi has received several bids from life insurance companies and private equity companies who would be interested in buying Primerica. [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = Citigroup Gets Initial Bids For Primerica Unit |publisher = BusinessWeek |date= 2008-06-09 |accessdate = 2008-06-15] [cite news |first = |last = |url = |title = Primerica prepares to be taken off Citi's map |publisher = [] |date= 2008-06-06 |accessdate = 2008-06-15] The market value of the company is estimated to be $7.5 billion, roughly 15 times its annual earnings [cite news |first = Phil |last = Wahba |url = |title = Citi could sell Primerica, Texas business: Ladenburg's Bove |publisher = Reuters |date= 2008-09-05 |accessdate = 2008-09-29] and Citi was trying to match various bidders in groups that could bid for the unit together.

External links

* [ Primerica Financial Services]
* [ Citigroup] Parent Company
* [ Citigroup Family Tree History]


* [ Primerica Financial Services], viewed August 1, 2007
* [ New Georgia Encyclopedia] NGE, viewed November 7, 2006
* [ Citigroup Corporate History], viewed August 1, 2007
* [ News Blaze] article: IMSA rates Primerica Life Insurance company for ethical and excellent service, viewed August 20, 2007

See also

*Direct selling


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