American Equity customers urged to protest sale to Brookfield

  • The Unite Here union in a full-page Des Moines Register ad is urging customers of West Des Moines-based American Equity to protest its sale to a company affiliated with a private equity firm
  • Sales of similar retirement annuity providers have resulted in money-losing investments in commercial real estate, cautions the union
  • The deal could reap millions in profits for American Equity leaders and companies that own shares in the firm

A labor union this week called on customers of American Equity Investment Life Insurance to protest the West Des Moines company’s pending $3.4 billion sale, which could reap multi-million-dollar profits for some American Equity leaders.

In a full-page ad placed in the Des Moines Register on Monday, Unite Here officials warned that American Equity’s Bermuda-based buyer, Brookfield Reinsurance, would place customers’ money in “inherently risky” investments like commercial real estate loans.

Annuity providers like American Equity have traditionally invested in safer assets like government bonds. But private equity firms like Brookfield Reinsurance affiliate Brookfield Corp. increasingly have been acquiring the retirement insurers and using their customers’ money in less secure investments that could provide much bigger returns.

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