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Lincoln CEO on MetLife-style split: 'We believe in the businesses that we're in'

Written by Jasir Jawaid

Lincoln National Corp. President and CEO Dennis Glass side-stepped a question on an earnings call when he was asked if the company would consider splitting up like MetLife Inc.

"We believe in the businesses that we're in," Glass said, adding that while there are areas in which the company could improve, Lincoln is making progress overall.

A post-split MetLife would put it on the same footing as Lincoln and the rest of the industry from a capital perspective, the CEO said. From a competitive standpoint, Lincoln has "much more diversification" than MetLife may end up with.

"Steve is a bright guy and he's got a strong management team and I'm sure whatever they end up doing is going to benefit shareholders," he said.

Turning to energy exposure, Glass said the market value of Lincoln's $8.6 billion energy portfolio was 95% of book value. The high-yield energy exposure was about $600 million, up "modestly" from the prior year due to ratings migration, and represented 7.5% of its total energy exposure.

Glass noted that the company stopped investing in the energy sector a year ago, and it has reduced its fixed-income energy exposure by nearly $1 billion since the end of 2014. This included approximately $400 million in maturities and roughly $600 million of asset sales based on an assessment of exposures with external asset managers.

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence on the S&P Capital IQ Pro platform.


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