New York, Boston ... Lynchburg?
When people hear that Pacific Life has a business center in the Eastern United States, Lynchburg, Virginia, probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind.
Although not a traditional financial services capital, it was the site of a top-notch term life insurance platform, which Pacific Life acquired in June 2016 from Genworth Financial.
Pacific Life’s management team had been looking to diversify its products and customer base, and Genworth Financial’s platform was the “best ever in the industry,” said Rick Schindler, former head of the Life Insurance Division. Acquiring the platform would allow Pacific Life to engage with younger customers by entering the mass market for low-cost protection.
“This gets us exposure and access to a whole different clientele that we've never marketed to before, for a product line that we've never marketed before,” said CEO, Jim Morris. “That's exciting.”
However, operating a term life insurance business requires different skill sets and systems than Pacific Life’s other life insurance products.
The company hired many of Genworth Financial’s people and established its new business center for the platform in Lynchburg. By keeping the business geographically separate from its other life businesses, Pacific Life could also focus its people and resources completely on making the term life venture successful rather than trying to support more than one product at a different location.
Though it may take several more years for Pacific Life to see a return on its investment, it is confident that the new business is a valuable acquisition. “It’s a strategic direction that we feel we need to take,” said COO Adrian Griggs. “We’re going to have that long-term view.”