Ameritas recorded another consecutive year of solid performance and achievement in 2015. Our heritage as a long-standing mutual organization; a set of core values built upon trust, integrity and service; a tradition of financial strength; a wealth of talented professionals and an uncompromising commitment to fulfilling the lives of our customers have all contributed to our progress.
There’s no greater example reflecting the mission of our company than to experience a sampling of real life stories as told by some of our customers. Each of these individuals and businesses – and millions more like them throughout the country – count on Ameritas to be there when they need us the most. We’ve delivered on this promise for nearly 130 years, and in 2015 alone, Ameritas paid over $2.1 billion in benefit payments to policyholders. This measure of how many people we’ve helped and promises kept is the benchmark of our success and a gauge of our purpose as a company.
Achieving Quality Performance
Consistently delivering quality performance fuels our ability to help customers enjoy life at its very best and to protect what is most cherished. For the year ended December 31, 2015, Ameritas posted a 5.2 percent increase in total GAAP assets to a record level of $20.5 billion. Total sales, premiums and net investment income are included in total revenue reporting at over $2.0 billion in 2015. This led to earning a solid $133.0 million in 2015 GAAP pretax operating income.
As a mutual organization, we reinvest our annual earnings back into the business to fortify our total equity position. This foundation of financial strength and stability exceeds $2.6 billion in capital and allows us to provide customers the level of security they expect and have the strategic resources available to invest in targeted growth opportunities. This tradition of financial stewardship ranks Ameritas among the strongest in the industry and has contributed to the consistently strong ratings earned from Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best Company year after year.
Delivering on Customer Expectations
Growing to more than $87.4 billion of life insurance in force, our individual division welcomed nearly 28,000 new customers in 2015, helping to protect them against the uncertainties of life while providing peace of mind through the purchase of a life or disability income insurance policy or annuity contract. The retirement plans division recorded $4.6 billion in assets under management and implemented a new state-of-the-art recordkeeping platform designed to enable our retirement plan sponsors and plan participants convenient 24-hour connectivity to their comprehensive plan summaries and market information. The group division delivered dental, vision and hearing care insurance to 6.4 million people across the U.S., exceeding $1.1 billion in annualized premium and premium equivalent. Assets under management at Ameritas Investment Corp. reached $4.4 billion as individuals and families turned to our professional team of advisors for their diverse investment needs.
One of the nation’s leading responsible investing firms, Calvert Investments, Inc. manages over $12.0 billion in client assets and continued to expand its offerings by introducing the Calvert Responsible Index series – a family of strong sustainability-focused funds with market leading performance potential. Under the watchful guidance of Ameritas Investment Partners, Inc., our company’s highly diversified investment portfolio grew 7.9 percent in 2015 to $15.5 billion while maintaining a strong liquidity position and above industry average surplus levels.
Positioning for the Future
In our quest toward bringing our fulfilling life commitment to more people nationwide, we have begun the integration of a new strategic plan centered around three core fundamental objectives: customer focus, distribution excellence and financial health. This plan ignites a renewed commitment to leverage our ample resources – people, products and capital – toward the long-term sustainable growth of Ameritas.
The success generated under our new strategic plan has already begun to build momentum. We closed on two blocks of primarily whole life policies acquired in late 2015 and opened our new Kansas City office as part of a regional expansion of the Ameritas Investment Corp. public finance and capital markets operation. We continue to invest in new technologies and made a number of organizational enhancements to remain proactively responsive to the ever-changing needs of our customers. Collectively, these and other actions we’ve taken serve as testament to the strategic resolve of our company and mark the beginning of a new era in our second century of service.
The hallmark of our ability to deliver on the promises we’ve made to customers generation after generation lies in the unwavering commitment of the people who comprise the Ameritas family. From the dedication of our talented associates and professional distribution partners to the vision and leadership of our board of directors and management, we continuously strive to help our customers enjoy life at its very best by helping put worry behind and a brighter future ahead. We’re confident in our ability to serve the unique individual needs of our customers and honored by the continued loyalty and trust you place in us. We’re proud to be in the business of fulfilling life and look forward to our best days ahead.
JoAnn M. Martin, CPA, FLMI
President and Chief Executive Officer