APPLETON, Wis. (AP) _ Insurance and financial services providers Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood have merged into a single $55 billion company.
The merger, which became official Tuesday, pushed the faith-based firm to the middle of the Fortune 500 list, whereas the separate companies ranked near the bottom.
The new firm, with a combined 3 million customers and 3,300 employees, hopes to compete against corporate insurance and finance giants such as Fidelity, Citigroup, State Farm and American Express Financial Services, said president and CEO Bruce Nicholson, former Lutheran Brotherhood top executive.
``We look at ourselves very differently than the commercial companies do,″ Nicholson said Wednesday. ``We’re going to try to differentiate ourselves because we come from a unique perspective of serving others.″
Former Aid Association for Lutherans leader John Gilbert is the new company’s chairman.
Top executives of the new company, temporarily operating under the name Aid Association for Lutherans/Lutheran Brotherhood, are expected to move to the Lutheran Brotherhood’s Minneapolis headquarters. Aid Association for Lutherans was based in Appleton.
Officials plan to announce a new name in the first or second quarter of the year.
AAL had 10,451 U.S. branches and more than $92 billion in life insurance. Lutheran Brotherhood brought with it 1,055 branches and more than $50 billion in life insurance.
On the Net:
Aid Association for Lutherans/Lutheran Brotherhood: http://www1.aal.org/ or http://www.luthbro.com/