Ratings Roundup: Symetra, Fireman’s Fund, Lincoln National

October 5, 2007

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned its ‘BB’ preferred stock rating to Symetra Financial Corp.’s (SFC) proposed $150 million issue of capital-efficient notes with a scheduled maturity of 30 years and a final maturity of 60 years. S&P also affirmed its ‘BBB-‘ counterparty credit and senior debt ratings on SFC and its ‘A-‘ counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on SFC’s operating subsidiaries Symetra Life Insurance Co. and First Symetra National Life Insurance Co. NY. The outlook on all of these companies remains positive.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today it raised its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Novato-California based Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. and affiliates to ‘A+’ from ‘A’, and assigned them a positive outlook. “The upgrade reflects the insurer’s significant progress in strengthening its stand-alone competitive position, operating performance, and balance sheet strength, while improving overall risk management in close conjunction with its ultimate parent, Allianz SE,” explained S&P credit analyst Michael Gross. He added that the “positive outlook reflects the potential for the insurer to achieve further integration and success with Allianz group and its North American affiliates with regards to enterprise risk management as well as shared services and expense synergies.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned its ‘A+’ senior unsecured debt rating to Lincoln National Corp.’s $375 million senior notes issuance, due 2037. The proceeds from this issuance will be used to fund a new wholly owned insurance subsidiary to reinsure a portion of statutory reserves under AXXX guidelines. “We expect that the transaction will provide $300 million of statutory capital relief, which LNC will use for general corporate purposes such as share repurchases and support of future business growth,” said S&P.

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