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November 18, 1987|James S. Granelli, Times Staff Writer

In its efforts to reach more customers, Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. has acquired two financial planning companies that will boost the Newport Beach-based company's current network of 200 independent agents to about 1,250.

Pacific Mutual, the state's oldest and largest life insurance company, bought the remaining interests in Mutual Service Corp. in Detroit and Lowry Financial Services Corp. in North Palm Beach, Fla. Pacific Mutual already owned 25% of each company and had 150 of its 500 exclusive agents selling Lowry and MSC products.

The products offered by the two companies are primarily real estate limited partnerships and variable universal life insurance, a form of insurance that lets policyholders decide how their premiums should be invested. Agents selling those products must carry brokers licenses.

Based on gross securities commissions earned last year, MSC ranked 13th nationwide with $15.4 million, and Lowry ranked 19th with $9.3 million.

With more than $30 billion of life insurance in force and more than $18 billion in assets under management, Pacific Mutual is the 24th-largest life insurance company.

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