MarketWatch.com, February 10, 2012
From Humble Beginnings, Company Grew To Become a North American Business Success Story
Primerica, the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America, with more than 90,000 licensed representatives, is today commemorating 35 years of helping hundreds of thousands of families get the life insurance coverage they need, save for their future and pay down their debt. Since its inception in 1977, the company has defied all odds and overcome many challenges on its journey to become a highly rated, financially strong industry leader.
Primerica traces its history to February 10, 1977, when Art Williams, a former Georgia High School football coach founded A.L. Williams and Associates, Inc., starting with a team of seven "Founders" and a total of a mere 85 sales representatives. Their goal? Easy, all they aimed to do was take on and challenge one of the oldest and most established industries in North America – the life insurance industry – by advocating the concept of "Buy term and invest the difference", instead of more costly cash value life policies. Since the very beginning, Primerica has offered an unparalleled opportunity for people from all walks of life to achieve financial independence by helping others learn how to do the same.
The company's personal approach to financial services, meeting and educating families "across the kitchen table" combines with a strong sense of mission from which it has never wavered: "To help Main Street families become financially independent". Armed with this passionate crusade, A.L. Williams grew rapidly from its inception and by 1984, the company placed a staggering $38 billion of life insurance in force to lead the industry – in 7 short years. It continued its growth throughout the decade and in 1986, expanded to Canada. By 1987, the company, through its underwriter MILICO (now Primerica Life) had over 1 million life insurance policies in force providing millions with over $200 billion in term life protection. And that was just the beginning as the company continued to grow and become a true industry leader in the decades ahead.
The operations of A.L. Williams eventually formed the foundation of Primerica Financial Services. Primerica Life Insurance Company, PFS Investments and the assets and operations of Primerica Financial Services were acquired by predecessors of Citigroup Inc. through a series of transactions in the late 1980's and 1990's. Throughout this period and into the new millennium, Primerica continued to expand and in April, 2010, the company announced that "Freedom Lives Here", as it was "Refounded" as Primerica, Inc., an independent company, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PRI".
John Addison, Chairman of Primerica Distribution and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Primerica said, "What sets Primerica apart from the rest is that 35 years later, we still stand by the same mission and concepts. What the founders of the company built all those years ago has manifested itself into a company positioned to dominate the financial services industry and change the lives of more Main Street families than ever before. Because of our relentless desire to help people, we revolutionized the life insurance industry. We have created innovative products, leading edge technology to support our sales force and a great business opportunity. By offering the right products, Primerica's true superstars, our 90,000 person-strong sales force, have helped hundreds of thousands of families get the coverage they need, save for their future and pay down their debt. Our concepts are time-tested. We've proven we're doing what's right for Main Street families. Primerica was not only built to last, but to dominate and I believe that our future has never been as bright."
Rick Williams, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Primerica added, "It has been an amazing journey to this point, and like John, I believe our best years lie before us. From that day in 1977 to today, Primerica has grown from a tiny start-up to a company that serves millions of clients. Primerica Life and its subsidiaries, Primerica Life of Canada and National Benefit Life, today combine to have a total of $665 billion of term life insurance protection in force. Last year alone, we paid over $1 billion in death benefits to our insured families. By offering Main Street North American families savings and investments, our investment business has grown as well, and today PFS Investments' client asset values stand at $33.7 billion. We are especially proud of our sales representatives and Home Office employees, who everyday strive to help underserved middle income families achieve financial security."
About Primerica, Inc.
Primerica, Inc., headquartered in Duluth, GA, is a leading distributor of financial products to middle-income families in North America. Primerica representatives educate their Main Street clients about how to better prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs and providing appropriate solutions through term life insurance, which we underwrite, and mutual funds, annuities and other financial products, which we distribute primarily on behalf of third parties. In addition, Primerica provides an entrepreneurial full or part-time business opportunity for individuals seeking to earn income by distributing the company's financial products. We insure more than 4.3 million lives and approximately 2 million clients maintain investment accounts with us. Primerica is a member of the Russell 2000 stock index and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PRI".
SOURCE: Primerica, Inc.