Earlier this week, former Los Angeles Laker and business magnate Earvin “Magic” Johnson completed one of his largest deals, when his conglomerate Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) acquired a majority, controlling interest in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company (EquiTrust) – a $14.5 billion dollar financial services company. The deal becomes the largest acquisition by a minority-owned business of a financial services firm in history.
MJE has long focused on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities, and continues its mission by incorporating a diversified set of portfolio holdings that now includes a nationwide provider of retail financial services.
“EquiTrust provides MJE a tremendous platform to advocate for financial literacy and assist in creating job opportunities at every level. We will educate and emphasize the importance of life insurance for estate planning and annuities for retirement planning purposes,” said Earvin Johnson, CEO and Chairman of MJE. “It’s not only groundbreaking, but continues my mission to invest in businesses where we can make a positive impact in the community.”
Earlier this year, MJE completed the sale of Florida-based Simply Healthcare to Anthem, Inc., selling for 16 times the original investment and paving the way for the company’s deeper dive into the insurance and financial services community. Under MJE’s active engagement in marketing, regulatory issues and board participation, Simply Healthcare grew from 30,000 to 270,000 members in less than three years, and was awarded a four-star rating for its exceptional service by the U.S. government. EquiTrust, a trusted provider of retirement products with a strong track record of operating performance, distributes fixed-rate and indexed annuities and life insurance through a national network of more than 23,800 independent agents.
Derek T. DIngle, the Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer of BLACK ENTERPRISE, said of the announcement, “This historic deal will create the nation’s largest black-owned insurance company and enable EquiTrust to join an exclusive group that has included North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Atlanta Life Financial Group — institutions that have served African Americans for more than a century and were among the leadership of the BE Insurance Companies List for 32 years of the 42-year history of our listing of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses”.
“EquiTrust has grown into a top 10 fixed annuity writer and has produced milestone financial results in recent years,” said Jeffrey Lange, CEO of EquiTrust. “The financial strength and stability of EquiTrust combined with Earvin’s strategic initiative and consumer focus provide for a very bright outlook for the company. I look forward to working with Earvin and his team to continue building on the company’s excellent track record.”