JEREMY C. WATSON is a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, and focuses his practice on a variety of corporate, securities and regulatory matters relating to the insurance and financial services industry.
He regularly represents insurance companies, private equity firms and other industry participants in connection with domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and reinsurance transactions (including acquisitions and divestitures of books of insurance business through reinsurance, renewal rights and other alternative transaction structures), corporate finance, public and private securities offerings, and the formation and capitalization of insurance companies and related ventures. He also regularly advises clients with respect to the regulation of insurance holding company systems and reinsurance arrangements.
In 2021, Jeremy was named by The National Law Journal to its inaugural list of “Insurance Law Trailblazers,” which profiles a select group of leading innovators in the insurance industry, and was named among BTI Consulting Group’s M&A Client Service All-Stars.
Recent transactions on which Jeremy has advised include:
- Merger of Athene Holding with Apollo Global Management, in an all-stock transaction creating a pro forma US$29 billion market cap company (with Athene valued at approximately US$11 billion).
- Sale of Talcott Resolution to Sixth Street by an investor consortium led by Cornell Capital LLC, Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, TRB Advisors LP, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Pine Brook, J. Safra Group, and The Hartford.
- Reinsurance by Athene Life Re of a US$27 billion block of annuities from Jackson National Life Insurance Company, and a US$500 million indirect equity investment in Jackson.
- Sale by Cigna of its group life and disability insurance business to New York Life for US$6.3 billion.
- Combination common share exchange with and US$1.55 billion sale of common shares to Apollo Global Management by Athene Holding. The transaction also involves the elimination of Athene’s multi-class share structure.
- Acquisition by Athene Holding of GE Capital’s aviation lending business, PK AirFinance, including its approximately US$3.6 billion loan portfolio.
- Formation and capitalization by Athene Holding and Apollo Global Management of Athene Co-Invest Reinsurance Affiliate 1A, Ltd. (ACRA), a long-duration, on-demand capital vehicle funded by Athene and certain investment funds managed by Apollo.
- Acquisition by Western & Southern Financial Group of Gerber Life Insurance Company from Nestlé S.A. for US$1.55 billion.
- Acquisition by Apollo Global Management and Athene Holding from Voya Financial of Voya Insurance and Annuity Company, including Voya’s closed block variable annuity business, for approximately US$500 million, and Athene’s agreement to reinsure US$19 billion of Voya’s fixed and fixed indexed annuity liabilities.
- Sale by The Hartford of its run-off life insurance and annuity businesses, known as Talcott Resolution, for US$2.05 billion to an investor group that included Cornell Capital, Atlas Merchant Capital, Global Atlantic, TRB Advisors, Pine Brook and J. Safra Group.
- Acquisition by PartnerRe Ltd. of Aurigen Capital Limited.
- Acquisition by The Hartford of Maxum Specialty Insurance Group.
- Organization and US$800 million capital raise of ABR Reinsurance Capital Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based reinsurance organization, by ACE in a venture with BlackRock. The transaction was named “Capital Raising of the Year” and “Launch of the Year” at the 2015 Reactions North America Awards.
- Sale by The Hartford of its Japanese variable annuity business to ORIX Corp. for approximately US$1.4 billion.
- Acquisition by Athene Holding Ltd. of Aviva plc’s U.S. life insurance business for approximately US$1.55 billion.
- Acquisition by Cigna of Great American Supplemental Benefits Group.
- Acquisition by Athene Holding Ltd. of Investors Insurance Corporation.
- Sale of Data and Staff Services Co. to RLI Insurance Company.
- Sale by UniGroup, Inc. of Vanliner Insurance Company to National Interstate.
- Sale by American International Group, Inc. of its 21st Century Insurance Group to Farmers Insurance Group, a unit of Zurich Financial Services, a transaction with a total enterprise value of over US$2 billion.
- Sponsored demutualization of Podiatry Insurance Company of America and acquisition by ProAssurance Corporation.
- Sale by General Electric of its auto warranty insurance companies and business to Wachovia Corporation.