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Ownership Structure Changes in the Insurance Industry: An Analysis of Demutualization

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  • Krupa S. Viswanathan
  • J. David Cummins

Abstract

This article focuses on the demutualization process and investigates why certain mutuals undergo this organizational structure change. The primary motivation for conversion is access to capital. By statute, mutual firms are limited in their capital-raising activities while stock firms can attract funds through a variety of stock and debt offerings. By examining the financial characteristics of firms that demutualize, changes in business practices in the years surrounding conversion can be observed. Determinants of the conversion decision are explored through logistic regression. In the years before demutualization, converting property-liability mutuals exhibit significantly lower surplus-to-asset ratios. This capital constraint eases after demutualization. Converting life-health mutuals hold a significantly lower proportion of liquid assets; in addition, they have a higher proportion of separate accounts under management. This liquidity constraint and increased focus on a higher managerial discretion activity drive the demutualization decision. For both property-liability and life-health converting mutuals, support for the access to capital hypothesis is found. Copyright The Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Krupa S. Viswanathan & J. David Cummins, 2003. "Ownership Structure Changes in the Insurance Industry: An Analysis of Demutualization," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 70(3), pages 401-437.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:70:y:2003:i:3:p:401-437
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Eling & David Pankoke, 2016. "Costs and Benefits of Financial Regulation: An Empirical Assessment for Insurance Companies," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 41(4), pages 529-554, October.
    2. Byeongyong Paul Choi & Elyas Elyasiani, 2011. "Foreign-owned insurer performance in the US property-liability markets," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 291-306.
    3. Fabrice Roth, 2012. "Crise et régulation des marchés financiers : Quel impact sur les formes mutuelles dans l'assurance ?," Working Papers halshs-00692342, HAL.
    4. Yoshikatsu Shinozawa, 2007. "The Effect of Organisational Form on Investment Products: an empirical analysis of the UK unit trust industry," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(6), pages 1244-1259, November.
    5. Luigi Buzzacchi & Gilberto Turati, 2009. "Collective Risks in Local Administrations: Can a Private Insurer Be Better than a Public Mutual Fund?," Working papers 03, Former Department of Economics and Public Finance "G. Prato", University of Torino.
    6. Laux, Christian & Muermann, Alexander, 2010. "Financing risk transfer under governance problems: Mutual versus stock insurers," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 333-354, July.
    7. Xie, Xiaoying, 2010. "Are publicly held firms less efficient? Evidence from the US property-liability insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1549-1563, July.
    8. Dionne, Georges & Harrington, Scott, 2017. "Insurance and Insurance Markets," Working Papers 17-2, HEC Montreal, Canada Research Chair in Risk Management.
    9. George Zanjani, 2007. "Regulation, Capital, and the Evolution of Organizational Form in US Life Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 973-983, June.
    10. Laux, Christian & Muermann, Alexander, 2006. "Mutual versus stock insurers: Fair premium, capital, and solvency," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/26, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    11. Braun, Alexander & Schmeiser, Hato & Rymaszewski, Przemysław, 2015. "Stock vs. mutual insurers: Who should and who does charge more?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(3), pages 875-889.
    12. Cummins, J. David & Rubio-Misas, Maria & Zi, Hongmin, 2004. "The effect of organizational structure on efficiency: Evidence from the Spanish insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 3113-3150, December.
    13. repec:tur:wpaper:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Joseph W. Meador & Emery A. Trahan, 2008. "The Intra-Industry Effects of Life Insurance Company Demutualizaton," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, December.
    15. Patricia C. Mosser & Joseph Tracy & Joshua Wright, 2013. "The capital structure and governance of a mortgage securitization utility," Staff Reports 644, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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