|Within two short years, the company began opening agencies across the country. We even served policyowners in Colorado, the Dakotas, New Mexico, and Arizona, long before these territories became states.|
|In 1868, Germania became the first U.S. insurance company to start an agency in Europe. By the early 1900s, almost half of its business was outside North America, until the pressures of World War I forced it to stop writing business in Europe.|
|In 1917, the company changed its name to The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.|
|In 1925, Guardian converted from a mixed stock and mutual company to a wholly mutual company. As such, we have no stockholders or private owners. The policyholders own the company and profits are distributed to them in the form of dividends on policies.|
Founded 150 years ago, Guardian and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals, business owners and their employees with life, long term care insurance, disability income, medical and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products and trust services. As of December 31, 2009, Guardian and its subsidiaries had $42.7 billion in assets (on a consolidated statutory basis).
Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and protects more than six million employees and their families at 120,000 companies. The company has more than 5,400 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide.
I am pleased to say Guardian built on our already strong performance for the year through the third quarter of 2010. We maintained our positive sales results and continued to expand our national network of Financial Representatives.Our investments portfolio outperformed its benchmarks year-to-date while continuing to protect our capital during a volatile market environment, and we introduced new products, enhanced existing ones, and expanded our service capabilities.
Our financial position remained strong through three quarters as evidenced by the following results:
- Reported statutory operating income, the primary way we build capital and surplus, was $307 million.
- Capital, which serves to offset potential adverse events and functions as a source of continuing future income, was $5.2 billion.
- Capitalization ratio, a standard industry measure of capital strength, was 16.0%.
Ratings Agency Recognition
Our continued strong financial performance was among the factors cited by A.M. Best Company in its decision to affirm Guardianâ€™s A++ (Superior) credit rating with a stable outlook. Other factors that the credit rating firm cited in its press release include Guardianâ€™s superior capitalization, positive earnings, continued growth in individual life, and strong enterprise risk management processes.
Managing the Markets
Guardianâ€™s investment portfolio performed well during 3Q10 and continued to outperform its benchmarks on a year-to-date basis. Despite the low interest rate environment, we were able to identify and commit capital in attractive public and private investment opportunities, and continue to utilize a hedging program that protects capital while providing an opportunity to participate in equity market appreciation. Guardian also closed a strategic relationship with commercial real estate investment management firm, Lowe Enterprises, increasing our ability to make attractive real estate equity investments.
As we enter the fourth quarter of 2010, I am proud to say that through the diligence and dedication of our associates, Guardian continues to carry on our storied tradition of strength, service, and innovation cultivated over the past 150 years.