AM Best out with their reviwe today and stays at A (excellent). Nothing in the press release about increase risks due to Brazil. Good indicator, because they do talk about risks to the company, so if this was seen as a significant one, it should have been called out.
From today's SEC filing - maybe this could get things started to make the company more shareholder friendly. Can't remember who here (batraa?) was talking with some board members about this, but Robert Moody was seen as the roadblock to doing some things:
On June 19, 2015, the Board of Directors of National Western Life Insurance Company (the "Company") appointed Ross R. Moody ("Mr. Moody") as President and interim Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr. Moody (age 52) has served as a member of the Company's Board of Directors since 1981 and as the Company's President and Chief Operating Officer since 1992. Mr. Moody will serve as the Company's interim Chief Executive Officer until the Company appoints a permanent Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Moody will not receive any additional compensation while assuming the duties of interim Chief Executive Officer. Robert L. Moody, Sr., who served as Chief Executive Officer until June 19, 2015, will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, at an annual salary of $100,000, as determined by the Company's Compensation Committee, plus benefits currently provided to him as a Company director.
Decided to take a bit of a flyer that this will be meaningful and added to my position. Maybe this is the start of some good changes and, if not, stock is near the bottom of the range it has been in for the last year, so downside should be limited.
The one example I would point to is EVT and E-L Financial in Canada. It was founded by Hal Jackman and run for many years like NWLI has been run. About 2 years ago, Hal retired and the son took over. Since then, they changed the dividend policy to pay out much more, the sold one of the 2 main divisions, Dominion Insurance to the Travellers and the stock has gone up quite a lot.
Not saying the same will happen here, but I would think the father is only stepping down because he has to for health, competence, etc. reasons. If he was doing it for the son, he would have done it long ago.
I think the son will want to put his own imprint on things and he has shown indications that he would like higher income by his usual selling of stocks bought through exercised options. Perhaps he will make some changes which we all think make sense like a share buyback at discounted levels and an increased dividend.
With ANAT, he gave up the CEO position to a non-family member, so it is not just about him trying to set up his son. Plus, the Brazil thing is only for NWLI, so wouldn't have affected his ANAT stepdown.
Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but my impression is he is moving out of the business. Could be for health, mental capacity or just personal reasons, but either way, I see it as a potential positive.