July 31, 2013 / 5:32 PM / 4 years ago

NY state regulator approves Guggenheim purchase of Sun Life

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - Guggenheim Partners has agreed to “enhanced” protections in its purchase of Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company to safeguard policy holders, paving the way for the state Department of Financial Services to approve the acquisition, New York’s top financial regulator said in a statement on Wednesday.

Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, has previously pointed to worries about an emerging trend of private equity firms buying annuity businesses.

A fixed annuity is an insurance contract that guarantees an investor a minimum monthly payment.

As recently as Tuesday, Lawsky said he was concerned about private equity firms’ “short-term focus” in these purchases, since annuities are typically sold to retirees with long-term horizons.

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