Take a look at either stocks. Pretty sure that there is not 1 life insurer who is worth more than they wore 10 years ago. It is not a management issue unless coincidentally all life insurers hired poor CEO's in 2007.
The reality is the valuation that the market is willing to pay for life insurers has gone down over the last 10 years due to fears about interest rates, etc.
Looks like the deal for Chinese insurer Anbang to buy FGL is having some problems. Maybe it is just a hiccup in this process as Chinese companies aren't used to dealing with US regulators, or maybe they want to walk away.
I'd like to see the FGL deal go through as it increases the scarcity value of life insurers and will make it easier for stocks like NWLI to go up once the interest environment turns.
I agree, they are the cheapest. And there are reasons for that like the multiple vote shares, Moody poor capital management, etc.
But these same issues have always existed and are the reason people have been able to buy shares so cheaply over NWLI's lifetime.
If you look instead at the ration of a stock's P/B in the last cycle to now, the ratio's are pretty much in line.
Eg. LNC 2006 p/b = 1.53, now 0.75
MET 2006 p/b = 1.4, now 0.66
NWLI 2006 p/b = 0.91, now 0.48
So, the valuations have stayed in the same ratio with the industry over time.
At some point, maybe in our lifetimes, the Moody's will change capital allocation policies or one of the heirs will want out or something, so there will be a 1-time winfall for the holders at that time as valuations move to more in line with the industry, but for now, the company is being run as it always has and valued as it always has, so we just have to trade with that in mind.
Reads to me like the son is putting things in place to better run the business and reward shareholders:
"While we do not currently have any specific
plans in place, the presence of NWLGI will
facilitate strategic initiatives going forward
such as forming new subsidiaries for business
opportunities, acquiring other businesses, and
providing for corporate finance and capital