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SunAmerica Inc.

No. 4, Times 100


SunAmerica continues to clock impressive results as it focuses, laser-like, on becoming a household name for handling the retirement nest eggs of the nation's baby boomers.

At No. 4, the top-ranked Los Angeles County company on the overall Times 100 list posted a 43% increase in sales in 1996 and has more than doubled its earnings since 1993. The torrid pace has been fueled by internal growth and a series of shrewd acquisitions.

Century City-based SunAmerica has grown after starting life as the successor corporation to major Southland developer Kaufman & Broad Inc. after the spinoff of the home-building subsidiary in 1989. The firm concentrates on selling tax-deferred, mutual-fund-like annuity products and insurance.

At a time when insurers, banks, mutual fund companies and securities firms are all vying for a piece of the lucrative market of the 145-million baby boomers who are eager to invest their money before retirement, SunAmerica has launched a multiyear, multimillion-dollar national TV ad campaign to enhance its name recognition.

The firm has also beefed up its broker-dealer sales force and is now the fifth-largest in the U.S.

"Consumers are strongly predisposed to invest with well-known, established companies," Jana Waring Greer, president of marketing, said last month when SunAmerica announced a sponsorship pact with NBC Sports.

At the helm is the venerable Eli Broad, a legendary fixture on the Southern California landscape who is chairman, president and CEO.

Broad is currently serving as the unofficial chairman of the fund-raising effort to keep the downtown Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall project alive.

While not a household name yet, his SunAmerica is ahead of a lot of the competition as it consistently wins above-average returns for its shareholders.

In the first half of fiscal 1997 ended March 31, SunAmerica recorded a 55% increase in variable annuity sales, or $1.3 billion, over the year-earlier period, putting it well on track for its goal of $2.6 billion in 1997.

Also in the period, the firm's subsidiary, SunAmerica Life Insurance Co., completed its purchase of the $5-billion annuity business of John Alden Financial Corp. for $240 million in cash. The company now holds more than $22 billion in annuity reserves, more than double the $9.3 billion held as of March 31, 1995.

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