Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3)
Registration No. 333-185618
STOCK INVESTMENT PLAN
CLASS A COMMON STOCK
This prospectus describes the Citizens, Inc. Stock Investment Plan, under which existing and new investors may purchase and hold shares of our Class A common stock. We expect to offer and sell up to 30,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock under the plan. The plan is administered by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., an agent independent of us. Under the plan, the administrator purchases shares of our Class A common stock in the open market for the account of the participants who enroll in the plan with proceeds provided by plan participants. We do not issue any shares to plan participants in conjunction with the plan, and we do not receive any proceeds from the purchase of shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the plan.
Our Class A common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CIA. The closing price of our Class A common stock on April 26, 2018 was $7.82 per share.
INVESTING IN OUR CLASS A COMMON STOCK INVOLVES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE RISK FACTORS BEGINNING ON PAGE 6.
WE SPONSOR THE PLAN AND THE PLAN ADMINISTRATOR ADMINISTERS THE PLAN. THE SECURITIES HELD IN PLAN ACCOUNTS ON BEHALF OF PARTICIPANTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PROTECTION UNDER THE SECURITIES INVESTOR PROTECTION ACT OF 1970. YOU MUST MAKE INDEPENDENT INVESTMENT DECISIONS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE PLAN BASED ON YOUR OWN JUDGMENT AND RESEARCH.
NEITHER THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION NOR ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED OF THESE SECURITIES OR HAS DETERMINED IF THIS PROSPECTUS IS ADEQUATE OR ACCURATE. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
PLAN ACCOUNTS ARE NOT SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, DEPOSIT ACCOUNTS OR OBLIGATIONS OF A BANK. THUS, PLAN ACCOUNTS ARE NOT INSURED BY THE FDIC, SIPC OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AND MAY LOSE VALUE. THERE IS NO BANK GUARANTY OF YOUR PLAN ACCOUNT OR THE SECURITIES IN YOUR ACCOUNT.
You should rely solely on the information contained, or incorporated by reference, in this prospectus. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information different from that contained, or incorporated by reference, in this prospectus. We are offering to sell shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the plan only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The information contained, or incorporated by reference, in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of the shares.
The date of this prospectus is April 30, 2018
Citizens, Inc. (Citizens or the Company) is an insurance holding company incorporated in Colorado serving the life insurance needs of individuals in the United States since 1969 and internationally since 1975. Through our insurance subsidiaries, we pursue a strategy of offering traditional insurance products in niche markets where we believe we are able to achieve competitive advantages. We had approximately $1.6 billion of assets at December 31, 2017 and approximately $4.5 billion of insurance in force. Our core insurance operations include:
|||U.S. dollar-denominated ordinary whole life insurance and endowment policies predominantly sold to foreign residents, located principally in Latin America and the Pacific Rim, through independent marketing consultants;|
|||ordinary whole life insurance policies to middle income households concentrated in the Midwest, Mountain West and southern United States through independent marketing consultants; and|
|||final expense and limited liability property policies to middle and lower income households in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas through employee and independent agents in our home service distribution channel and funeral homes.|
Our principal executive office is located at 2900 Esperanza Crossing, 2nd Floor, Austin, Texas 78758, and our telephone number is (512) 837-7100. Our website can be found at http://www.citizensinc.com. The information contained in or that can be accessed through our website is not intended to constitute and shall not be deemed to constitute part of this prospectus.
The following summary of our Stock Investment Plan includes all material terms of the plan. However, it may omit certain information that may be important to you. We have included a complete copy of the plan in this prospectus as Appendix A.
You should carefully read this prospectus to find out more about the plan. You must make any investment decision concerning your participation in the plan based on your own judgment and research. Your participation in the plan is entirely voluntary, and you may terminate your participation at any time. You should keep this prospectus and all account statements for future reference. If you have any questions about the plan, please contact the plan administrator, as set forth below under Plan Administrator.
WE HAVE NOT AUTHORIZED ANY OF OUR EMPLOYEES OR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OR RESPOND TO NON-MINISTERIAL INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PLAN. YOU MUST INSTEAD CONTACT THE PLAN ADMINISTRATOR.
The purpose of the plan is to provide a convenient and economical means:
|||for new investors to make an initial investment in our Class A common stock;|
|||for existing investors to purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock;|
|||for the actual beneficial owners to have Class A common stock registered on our records in their names. This is in contrast to the common practice of registering the shares in the street name of a broker, which holds the shares on behalf of an investor; and|
|||for policyholders who so request to have any cash dividends on our policies issued by our subsidiaries held in the plan and automatically invested in shares of the Class A common stock.|
Participation How to Join
Almost anyone is eligible to enroll in the plan. We may offer the plan to:
|||applicants or owners of insurance policies issued by our subsidiaries;|
|||existing holders of Class A common stock;|
|||our independent consultants; or|
|||persons who are not members of any of the four preceding groups but independently inquire about the plan. Neither the plan administrator nor any of our representatives or agents may solicit persons who are not members of the four preceding groups to become participants in the plan.|
If you live outside the United States, you should first determine if there are any laws or governmental regulations that would prohibit your participation in the plan. We reserve the right to terminate participation of any stockholder and to refuse participation in the plan to any person if we deem it advisable in our sole discretion under any U.S. or foreign laws or regulations.
Owners of our insurance policies may elect to have policy benefits, including dividends, automatically invested in Class A common stock through the plan. Likewise, our employees may elect to participate in the plan and independent consultants, through their independent consultant contracts with the Company, may elect to have a portion of their earnings automatically invested in Class A common stock through the plan.
Both persons who already own shares of our Class A common stock and non-stockholders may enroll in the plan. A new investor (non-stockholder) must make an initial investment of at least $250 (but not more than $120,000). The initial investment can be made by check or one-time online bank debit, or by authorizing a minimum of ten (10) consecutive monthly deductions of at least $25 each from your U.S. bank account. Checks should be made payable to: Computershare Citizens, Inc. However, this minimum investment requirement does not apply to persons who own one of our insurance policies, registered holders of our Class A common stock, or members of our marketing force whose initial investment is made through an assignment of policy benefits or commissions.
Both existing Class A common stockholders and new investors can join the plan via the Internet by going to www.computershare.com and following the instructions provided, or by completing and returning an enrollment form to the plan administrator.
To receive a plan enrollment form or additional copies of this prospectus, simply contact the plan administrator as set forth below under Plan Administrator.
Optional Cash Purchases
You may buy additional shares by investing a minimum of $25 at any one time not to exceed $120,000 in any calendar year. You may pay for your optional cash investments by check, one-time online bank debit, or on a regular basis by monthly pre-authorized deductions from your U.S. bank account.
Funds Fully Invested
After deduction of any applicable service and trading fees, the plan administrator fully invests money paid to the plan in our Class A common stock through the purchase of shares in the open market. The purchase price is the weighted average price of all shares purchased for any given investment date. There may be a delay between the time that you enroll in the plan or the time money is paid to the plan administrator and the time that the plan administrator purchases shares of Class A common stock for your account under the plan. Until the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part is declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission, no shares may be purchased for your account by the plan administrator even if you have enrolled in the plan, paid money to the plan administrator or elected to have your insurance policy benefits or employee earnings automatically invested in Class A common stock through the plan. As a result, the price actually paid for shares of Class A common stock when they are purchased for your account under the plan by the plan administrator may be higher or lower than the fair market value of the Class A common stock on the date that your enroll in the plan, the date you pay money to the plan administrator or the date on which we retain your insurance policy benefits or earnings in accordance with your enrollment in the plan.
As a plan participant, you can deposit your Class A common stock certificates into your plan account for safekeeping. Shares that you deposit will be credited to your plan account in book-entry form. The advantage of holding shares in book-entry form under the plan is protection against certificate loss, theft or damage. An existing stockholder can deposit stock certificates for safekeeping when enrolling in the plan or at any time thereafter.
Sale, Withdrawal or Transfer of Shares at any Time
You may sell or withdraw any shares of Class A common stock credited to your account, including any shares deposited into the plan. Additionally, you may transfer or make gifts to others of our Class A common stock by contacting the plan administrator.
Transaction and Fee Table setting forth transaction types, minimum/maximum investments and service and trading fees
Attached to this prospectus as Appendix B is a table (the Transaction and Fee Table) that sets forth transaction types, the minimum and maximum permitted investments, and the service and trading fees, including any brokerage commissions (such fees and commissions, Transaction Fees) associated with the respective transaction types. We reserve the right to amend the plan and change the amounts and types of Transaction Fees.
Rights of Holders of Class A Common Stock
Upon purchase of shares through the plan, you will have all rights as a holder of our Class A common stock as provided in our articles of incorporation and bylaws and under the Colorado law governing business corporations. Under our articles of incorporation, shares of two classes of common stock Class A common stock and Class B common stock have been issued and are outstanding. As of April 25, 2018, we had 49,080,114 shares of Class A common stock issued and outstanding, no par value, and 1,001,714 shares of Class B common stock, no par value, issued and outstanding.
The voting rights of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock are equal in all respects except with regard to the election of our directors. The holders of Class B common stock have the exclusive right to elect a simple majority of the members of our board of directors, and the holders of the Class A common stock have the exclusive right to elect the remaining directors. Cumulative voting rights are not allowed in the election of directors. A majority vote of all outstanding shares of the Class A and Class B common stock, each voting separately as a class, would be required for approval of extraordinary corporate transactions, such as our merger with another corporation or the sale of substantially all of our assets. For other types of actions, a majority vote of a quorum of stockholders at a meeting, represented in person or by proxy, is necessary.
We have not, to date, declared or paid any cash dividends on any of our common stock, and we have no present plans for doing so. However, if we were to declare a cash dividend, the dividend per share on the Class A common stock would be required to be twice the cash dividend per share on the Class B common stock.
Our stockholders have no preemptive rights to purchase stock in connection with an issuance of stock by us.
Stockholder Materials and Voting Rights
We will send or forward to you all applicable proxy solicitation materials, other stockholder materials or consent solicitation materials. You shall have the exclusive right to exercise all voting rights respecting your shares. You may vote any of your whole or fractional shares of which you are the record holder in person or by proxy. Your proxy card shall include your whole or fractional shares of which you are the record holder. Your shares shall not be voted unless you vote them. However, unless you notify us in writing that you elect to withhold the Plan Administrators authority, under the terms of the Plan the Plan Administrator is deemed to have the written authorization to appear in person or by proxy at any annual or special meeting of shareholders of the Company and to submit your unvoted shares at the meeting for the sole purpose of determining a quorum.
Solicitation of the exercise of your voting rights by the management of the Company or others under a proxy or consent provision applicable to all holders of common stock shall be permitted. Solicitation of the exercise of your tender or exchange offer rights by management of the Company or others shall also be permitted.
Computershare Trust Company, N.A. will administer the plan and act as agent for the participants. Certain services will be provided by Computershare Inc., a registered transfer agent and affiliate of Computershare Trust Company, N.A., including processing all payments received or made under the plan.
You may contact the plan administrator as follows:
You may contact the plan administrator via the Internet at www.computershare.com.
Please note that all transactions online are subject to Computershares Investor Centre Terms and Conditions.
You may call Computershare at:
You may write the plan administrator at the following address:
P. O. Box 505000
Louisville, KY 40233-5000
Please reference Citizens, Inc. and include your name, address, account number (as shown on your plan statement) and daytime telephone number in your correspondence.
For overnight delivery services:
462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600
Louisville, KY 40202
Certain statements contained in this Prospectus are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including, without limitation, statements specifically identified as forward-looking statements within this document. Many of these statements contain risk factors as well. In addition, certain statements in future filings by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with the approval of the Company, which are not statements of historical fact, constitute forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or non-payment of dividends, capital structure, and other financial items, (ii) statements of our plans and objectives by our management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services, (iii) statements of future economic performance and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as believes, anticipates, assumes, estimates, plans, projects, could, expects, intends, targeted, may, will and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the Companys future results to differ materially from expected results include, but are not limited to:
|||Changes in the application, interpretation or enforcement of foreign insurance laws that impact our business, which derives the majority of its revenues from residents of foreign countries;|
|||Potential changes in amounts reserved for in connection with the noncompliance of a portion of our insurance policies with Sections 7702 under the Internal Revenue Code, the failure of certain annuity contracts to qualify under Section 72(s) of the Internal Revenue Code and the anticipated timing of finalization of our proposed closing agreements with the IRS to address these matters;|
|||The anticipated transition of our international business to a new Bermuda-based entity, the adoption of our international business to regulatory oversight by the Bermuda Monetary Authority and potential shifts in policyholder behavior arising from these changes;|
|||Changes in foreign and U.S. general economic, market, and political conditions, including the performance of financial markets and interest rates;|
|||Changes in consumer behavior or regulatory oversight, which may affect the Companys ability to sell its products and retain business;|
|||The timely development of and acceptance of new products of the Company and perceived overall value of these products and services by existing and potential customers;|
|||Fluctuations in experience regarding current mortality, morbidity, persistency and interest rates relative to expected amounts used in pricing the Companys products;|
|||The performance of our investment portfolio, which may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates, adverse developments and ratings of issuers whose debt securities we may hold, and other adverse macroeconomic events;|
|||Results of litigation we may be involved in;|
|||Changes in assumptions related to deferred acquisition costs and the value of any businesses we may acquire;|
|||Regulatory, accounting or tax changes that may affect the cost of, or the demand for, the Companys products or services;|
|||Our concentration of business from persons residing in Latin America and the Pacific Rim;|
|||Changes in tax laws;|
|||Effects of acquisitions and restructuring, including possible difficulties in integrating and realizing the projected results of acquisitions;|
|||Changes in statutory or U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP), policies or practices;|
|||Changes in leadership among our board and senior management team.|
|||Our success at managing risks involved in the foregoing; and|
|||The risk factors discussed in Part 1.-Item 1A- Risk Factors of this report.|
Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made.
We make available, free of charge, through our Internet website (http://www.citizensinc.com), our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Section 16 Reports filed by officers and directors, news releases, and, if applicable, amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish such reports to, the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not including any of the information contained on our website as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Prospectus.
Investing in our Company involves certain risks. Set forth below are certain risks with respect to our Company. Readers should carefully review these risks, together with the other information contained in this report. The risks and uncertainties we have described in this report are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently deem not material, may also adversely affect our business. Any of the risks discussed in this report or that are presently unknown or not material, if they were to actually occur, could result in a significant adverse impact on our business, operating results, prospects or financial condition. References in the risk factors below to we, us, our, Citizens and like terms relate to Citizens, Inc. and its subsidiaries on a U.S. GAAP consolidated financial statement basis, unless specifically identified otherwise. We operate our subsidiaries as separate and distinct entities with respect to corporate formalities.
Risks Relating to Our Business
The majority of our sales derive from residents of foreign countries and is subject to risks associated with political instability, currency control laws and foreign insurance laws. A significant loss of sales in these foreign markets could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
The majority of our direct premiums, approximately 73% in 2017, are from foreign countries, primarily those in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. These sales are made through independent consultants who are located in these foreign countries. Many of these countries have a history of political instability, including regime changes, political uprisings, currency fluctuations and anti-democratic or anti-U.S. policies. There is a risk that political instability in these countries could have a material adverse effect on the ability of people living in these countries to purchase our insurance policies or our ability to sell our policies in those countries through our independent consultants or otherwise. Our Companys future sales and financial results depend upon avoiding significant regulatory restraints on receiving insurance policy applications and premiums from, and issuing insurance policies to, residents outside of the United States.
Currency control laws or other currency exchange restrictions in foreign countries could materially adversely affect our revenues by imposing restrictions on asset transfers outside of a country where our insureds reside. Difficulties in transferring funds from or converting currencies to U.S. dollars in certain countries could prevent our insureds in those countries from purchasing or paying premiums on our policies. There can be no assurance that such restrictions will not be imposed and that our revenues, results of operations and financial condition will not be materially adversely affected if they do occur.
We also face risks associated with the application of foreign laws to our sales of policies to residents in foreign countries. Generally, all foreign countries in which we offer insurance products require a license or other authority to conduct insurance business in that country. Some of these countries also require that local regulatory authorities approve the terms of any insurance product sold to residents of that country. We have never sought to qualify to do business in any foreign country and have never submitted the insurance policies that we issue to residents of foreign countries for approval by any foreign or domestic insurance regulatory agency. Traditionally, we have sought to address risks associated with the potential application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in our foreign markets by, among other things, not locating any of our offices or assets in foreign countries, selling policies only through independent consultants rather than our own employees, requiring that all applications for insurance be submitted to and accepted only in our offices in the U.S., and requiring that policy premiums be paid to us only in U.S. Dollars. We rely on our independent consultants to comply with laws applicable to them in marketing our insurance products in their respective countries.
We have undertaken a comprehensive compliance review of risks associated with the potential application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in foreign countries. The application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in foreign countries varies by country. There is a lack of uniform regulation, lack of clarity in certain regulations and lack of legal precedent addressing circumstances similar to ours. Our compliance review has confirmed the previously disclosed risks related to foreign insurance laws associated with our current business model, at least in certain foreign countries. There are risks that a foreign government could determine under its existing laws that its residents may not purchase life insurance from us unless we become qualified to do business in that country or unless our policies purchased by its residents receive prior approval from its insurance regulators. There also is a risk that foreign regulators may become more aggressive in enforcing any perceived violations of their laws and seek to impose monetary fines, criminal penalties, and/or order us to cease our sales in that jurisdiction. There is no assurance that, if a foreign country were to deem our sales of policies in that country to require that we qualify to do business in that country or submit our policies for approval by that countrys regulatory authorities, we would be able to, or would conclude that it is advisable to, comply with those requirements. Any determination by a foreign country that we or our policy sales are subject to regulation under their laws, or any actions by a foreign country to enforce such laws more aggressively, could therefore have a material adverse effect on our ability to sell policies in that country and, in turn, on our results of operations and financial condition. We are exploring alternatives to our current business model in one or more jurisdictions, including withdrawing from particular markets.
Any disruption to the marketing and sale of our policies to residents of a foreign country, resulting from the action of foreign regulatory authorities or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our operating results and financial condition may be affected if the liabilities actually incurred differ, or if our estimates of those liabilities change, from the amounts we have reserved for in connection with the noncompliance of a portion of our life insurance policies with Section 7702 of the Internal Revenue Code and the failure of certain annuity contracts to qualify under Section 72(s) of the Internal Revenue Code.
We previously announced that we determined that a portion of the life and annuity insurance policies issued by our subsidiary insurance companies failed to qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment afforded by Sections 7702 and 72(s) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of 1986. We may be liable to the IRS for failure to withhold taxes or to tax report on IRS information returns and payee statements. We have undertaken an analysis of our potential liability to the IRS arising from this matter, as well as other expenses we may incur to remediate (i.e.,
conform to the requirements of the IRS) certain previously issued domestic life insurance and annuity policies and to address any missed reporting and withholding for policies issued to non-U.S. citizens and have established a best estimate reserve of $12.3 million, net of tax as of December 31, 2017 for probable liabilities and expenses. The probability weighted range of financial estimates relative to this issue is $5.9 million to $48.2 million, net of tax. This estimated range includes projected toll charges and fees payable to the IRS, as well as estimated increased payout obligations to current holders of non-compliant domestic life insurance policies expected to result from remediation of those policies. The amount of our liabilities and expenses depends on a number of uncertainties, including the number of prior tax years for which we may be liable to the IRS, the number of domestic life insurance policies we will be required to remediate, the methodology applicable to the calculation of toll charges for non-compliant policies and the amount of time and resources we will require from external advisors who are assisting us with resolving these issues. Given the range of potential outcomes and the significant variables assumed in establishing our estimates, actual amounts incurred may exceed our reserve and also could exceed the high end of our estimated range of liabilities and expenses. To the extent the amount reserved is insufficient to meet the actual amount of our liabilities and expenses, or if our estimates of those liabilities and expenses change in the future, our financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.
On May 17, 2017, we submitted an offer to enter into Closing Agreements with the IRS covering the CICA and CNLIC domestic life insurance business. The toll charges calculated and enumerated in the Closing Agreements totaled $124,000 and $4,000 for the CICA and CNLIC domestic life insurance businesses, respectively.
We expect to submit offers to enter into Closing Agreements with the IRS for the SPLIC and MGLIC life insurance business and for the CICA international business and our annuity business in 2018.
The new CICA Life Ltd. (Bermuda) will be subject to extensive government regulation by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), which is a new regulatory regime for the Company. Regulation by the BMA, which is subject to change and may increase our costs of doing business, restrict the conduct of our business and negatively impact our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
For over 40 years, the Companys life insurance subsidiaries have been regulated in the U.S. by the state insurance departments of their states of domicile. In 2018, CICA Life Ltd. will be subject to extensive regulation and supervision by the BMA in jurisdictions where we do business, including global insurance regulations, tax, financial services, privacy, anti-money laundering, bank secrecy, anti-corruption and foreign asset control laws. Bermuda insurance company regulation is generally designed to protect the interests of policyholders, with substantially lesser protections to shareholders of the regulated insurance companies. To that end, the BMA has broad powers to regulate business activities of CICA Life Ltd, mandate capital and surplus requirements, regulate trade and claims practices and require strong enterprise risk management and corporate governance activities. The Company has no prior experience operating in a foreign jurisdiction and limited experience with regulation by the BMA.
We face financial, liquidity and capital market risks in our operations.
As an insurance holding company with significant investment exposure, we face material financial and capital markets risk in our operations. Due to the low interest rate environment in recent years, we experienced significant call activity on our fixed income portfolio that decreased our investment yields compared to prior years. We also have recorded other-than-temporary impairments in the past several years due to credit related market declines and equity market volatility.
We face potential liquidity risks if policyholders with mature policies elect to receive lump sum distributions at greater levels than anticipated. Our whole life and endowment products provide the policyholder with alternatives once the policy matures. The policyholder can choose to take a lump sum payout or leave the money on deposit at interest with the Company. The Company has a significant amount of endowment products representing approximately 45.9% of total inforce with older contracts sold historically that will begin reaching their maturities over the next several years and policyholder election behavior is not known. If policyholders elect lump sum distributions, the Company could be exposed to liquidity risk in years of high maturities. Meeting these distributions could require the Company to sell securities at inopportune times to pay policyholder withdrawals. Alternatively, if the policyholder were to leave the money on deposit with the Company at interest, our profitability could be negatively impacted if the product guaranteed rate is higher than the current market rate we can earn on our investments.
A large portion of our debt security investment portfolio will mature in the next seven years and could be called sooner as we were subject to significant call activity beginning in 2009 due to the declining interest rate environment and we reinvested into shorter durations that are now approaching maturity. We will need to reinvest these maturing funds in the current interest rate environment. Our profitability could be negatively impacted depending on the market rates at the time of reinvestment. This could result in a decrease in our spread between our policy liability crediting rates and our investment earned rates. This could also negatively impact our liquidity.
Changes in market interest rates may significantly affect our profitability.
Some of our products, principally traditional whole life insurance with annuity riders, expose us to the risk that changes in interest rates will reduce our spread, or the difference between the amounts we are required to pay under our contracts to policyholders and the rate of return we are able to earn on our investments intended to support obligations under the contracts. Our spread is an integral component of our net income.
If interest rates decrease or remain at low levels, we may be forced to reinvest proceeds from investments that have matured, prepaid, been sold, or called at lower yields, reducing our investment margin. Our fixed income bond portfolio is exposed to interest rate risk as approximately 55% of the portfolio is callable. Lowering our interest crediting rates can help offset decreases in investment margins on some of our products. However, our ability to lower these rates could be limited by competition or contractually guaranteed minimum rates, and may not match the timing or magnitude of changes in asset yields.
An increase in interest rates will decrease the net unrealized gain position of our investment portfolio and may subject us to disintermediation risk. Disintermediation risk is the risk that in a change from a low interest rate period to a significantly higher and increasing interest rate period, policyholders may surrender their policies or make early withdrawals in order to increase their returns, requiring us to liquidate investments in an unrealized loss position (i.e. the market value less the carrying value of the investments). This risk is discussed further in the two risk factors below.
Our investment portfolio is subject to various risks that may result in realized investment losses. In particular, decreases in the fair value of fixed maturities may significantly reduce the value of our investments, and as a result, our financial condition may suffer.
We are subject to credit risk in our investment portfolio. Defaults by third parties in the payment or performance of their obligations under these securities could reduce our investment income and realized investment gains or result in the recognition of investment losses. The value of our investments may be materially adversely affected by increases in interest rates, downgrades in the bonds included in our portfolio and by other factors that may result in the recognition of other-than-temporary impairments. Each of these events may cause us to reduce the carrying value of our investment portfolio.
In particular, at December 31, 2017, fixed maturities represented $1,208.6 million or 92.5% of our total investments of $1,306.1 million. The fair value of fixed maturities and the related investment income fluctuates depending on general economic and market conditions. The fair value of these investments generally increases or decreases in an inverse relationship with fluctuations in interest rates, while net investment income realized by us will generally increase or decrease in line with changes in market interest rates. In addition, actual net investment income and/or cash flows from investments that carry prepayment risk, such as mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, may differ from those anticipated at the time of investment as a result of interest rate fluctuations. An investment has prepayment risk when there is a risk that the timing of cash flows resulting from the repayment of principal might occur earlier than anticipated because of declining interest rates or later than anticipated because of rising interest rates. The impact of value fluctuations affects our consolidated financial statements, as a large portion of our fixed maturities are classified as available-for- sale, with changes in fair value reflected in our stockholders equity (accumulated other comprehensive income or loss). No similar adjustment is made for liabilities to reflect a change in interest rates. Therefore, interest rate fluctuations and economic conditions could adversely affect our stockholders equity, total comprehensive income and/or cash flows. Although at December 31, 2017,
approximately 97.2% of our fixed maturities were investment grade with 75.2% rated A or above, all of our fixed maturities are subject to credit risk. If any of the issuers of our fixed maturities suffer financial setbacks, the ratings on the fixed maturities could be downgraded (with a concurrent decrease in fair value) and, in a worst-case scenario, the issuer could default on its financial obligations. If the issuer defaults, we could have realized losses associated with the impairment of the securities.
Valuation of our investments and the determination of whether a decline in the fair value of our invested assets is other-than-temporary are based on estimates that may prove to be incorrect.
U.S. GAAP requires that when the fair value of any of our invested assets declines and the decline is deemed to be other-than-temporary, we recognize a loss in either other comprehensive income or in our statement of income based on certain criteria in the period for which the determination is made. The determination of the fair value of certain invested assets, particularly those that do not trade on a regular basis, requires an assessment of available data and the use of assumptions and estimates. Once it is determined that the fair value of an asset is below its carrying value, we must determine whether the decline in fair value is other-than-temporary, which is based on subjective factors and involves a variety of assumptions and estimates.
There are risks and uncertainties associated with determining whether declines in market value are other-than-temporary. These include significant changes in general economic conditions and business markets, trends in certain industry segments, interest rate fluctuations, rating agency actions, changes in significant accounting estimates and assumptions and legislative actions. In the case of mortgage- and asset-backed securities, there is added uncertainty as to the performance of the underlying collateral assets. To the extent that we are incorrect in our determination of the fair value of our investment securities or our determination that a decline in their value is other-than-temporary, we may realize losses that never actually materialize or may fail to recognize losses within the appropriate reporting period.
Gross unrealized losses on fixed maturity and equity securities may be realized or result in future impairments, resulting in a reduction in our net income.
Fixed maturity and equity securities classified as available-for-sale are reported at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities are recognized as a component of other comprehensive income (loss) and are, therefore, excluded from our net income. Our total gross unrealized losses on our available-for-sale securities portfolio at December 31, 2017 were $3.1 million. The accumulated change in estimated fair value of these securities is recognized in net income when the gain or loss is realized upon sale of the security or in the event that the decline in estimated fair value is determined to be other-than-temporary and an impairment charge to earnings is taken. Realized losses or impairments may have a material adverse effect on our net income in a particular quarterly or annual period.
Our actual claims losses may exceed our reserves for claims, and we may be required to establish additional reserves, which in turn may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
We maintain reserves to cover our estimated exposure for claims relating to our issued insurance policies. Reserves, whether calculated under U.S. GAAP or statutory accounting practices prescribed by various state insurance regulators, do not represent an exact calculation of exposure, but instead represent our best estimates, generally involving actuarial projections, of what we expect claims will be based on mortality assumptions that are determined by various regulatory authorities. Many reserve assumptions are not directly quantifiable, particularly on a prospective basis. In addition, when we acquire other domestic life insurance companies, our assessment of the adequacy of acquired policy liabilities is subject to our estimates and assumptions. Reserve estimates are refined as experience develops, and adjustments to reserves are reflected in our statements of operations for the period in which such estimates are updated. Because establishing reserves is an inherently uncertain process involving estimates of future losses, future developments may require us to increase policy benefit reserves, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition in the periods in which such increases occur.
Unanticipated increases in early policyholder withdrawals or surrenders could negatively impact liquidity.
A primary liquidity concern is the risk of unanticipated or extraordinary early policyholder withdrawals or surrenders. Our insurance policies include provisions, such as surrender charges, that help limit and discourage early withdrawals, and we track and manage liabilities and attempt to align our investment portfolio to maintain sufficient liquidity to support anticipated withdrawal demands. However, early withdrawal and surrender levels may differ from anticipated levels for a variety of reasons, including changes in economic conditions, changes in policyholder behavior or financial needs, changes in relationships with our independent consultants, changes in our claims-paying ability, or increases in surrenders among policies that have been in force for more than fifteen years and are no longer subject to surrender charges. Any of these occurrences could adversely affect our liquidity, profitability and financial condition.
While we own a significant amount of liquid assets, a certain portion of investment assets are relatively illiquid. If we experience unanticipated early withdrawal or surrender activity, we could exhaust all other sources of liquidity and be forced to obtain additional financing or liquidate assets, perhaps on unfavorable terms. The availability of additional financing will depend on a variety of factors, such as market conditions, the availability of credit in general or more specifically in the insurance industry, the strength or weakness of the capital markets, the volume of trading activities, our credit capacity, and the perception of our long- or short-term financial prospects if we incur large realized or unrealized investment losses or if the level of business activity declines due to a market downturn. If we are forced to dispose of assets on unfavorable terms, it could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.
Catastrophes may adversely impact liabilities for policyholder claims and reinsurance availability.
Our insurance operations are exposed to the risk of catastrophic events. The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and man-made catastrophes may produce significant damage or loss of life in larger areas, especially those that are heavily populated. Claims resulting from catastrophic events could cause substantial volatility in our financial results for any fiscal quarter or year and could materially reduce our profitability or harm our financial condition. In addition, catastrophic events could harm the financial condition of issuers of obligations we hold in our investment portfolio, resulting in impairments to these obligations, and the financial condition of our reinsurers, thereby increasing the probability of default on reinsurance recoveries. Large-scale catastrophes may also reduce the overall level of economic activity in affected countries, which could hurt our business and the value of our investments or our ability to sell new policies.
Our life insurance operations are exposed to the risk of catastrophic mortality, such as a pandemic or other event that causes a large number of deaths, especially if concentrated in our top foreign markets. A significant pandemic could have a major impact on the global economy or the economies of particular countries or regions, including travel, trade, tourism, the health system, food supply, consumption, overall economic output and, eventually, on the financial markets. In addition, a pandemic that affected our employees, our policyholders, our independent consultants or other companies with which we do business could disrupt our business operations. The effectiveness of external parties, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, in combating the spread and severity of such a pandemic could have a material impact on the losses experienced by us. These events could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations in any period and, depending on their severity, could also materially and adversely affect our financial condition.
We may be required to accelerate the amortization of deferred acquisition costs and the costs of customer relationships acquired, which would increase our expenses and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
At December 31, 2017, we had $167.1 million of deferred policy acquisition costs, or DAC. DAC represents costs that vary with and are directly related to the successful sale and issuance of our insurance policies and are deferred and amortized over the estimated life of the related insurance policies. These costs include commissions in excess of ultimate renewal commissions, solicitation and printing costs, sales material costs and some support costs, such as underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses. Under U.S. GAAP for our type of insurance products, DAC is amortized over the premium-paying period of the policies.
In addition, when we acquire a block of insurance policies, we assign a portion of the purchase price to the right to receive future net cash flows from existing insurance and investment contracts and policies. This intangible asset, called the cost of customer relationships acquired, or CCRA, represents the actuarially estimated present value of future cash flows from the acquired policies. At December 31, 2017, we had $17.5 million of CCRA. We amortize the value of this intangible asset in a manner similar to the amortization of DAC.
The amortization of DAC and CCRA is subject to acceleration and generally depends upon anticipated profits from investments, surrender and other policy charges, mortality, morbidity, persistency and maintenance expense margins. For example, if our insurance policy lapse and surrender rates were to exceed the assumptions upon which we priced our insurance policies, or if actual persistency proves to be less than our persistency assumptions, especially in the early years of a policy, we might be required to accelerate the amortization of expenses we deferred in connection with the acquisition of the policy. We regularly review the quality of our DAC and CCRA to determine if they are recoverable from future income. If these costs are not recoverable, the amount that is not recoverable is charged to expenses in the financial period in which we make this determination.
Unfavorable experience with regard to expected expenses, investment returns, surrender and other policy charges, mortality, morbidity, lapses or persistency may cause us to increase the amortization of DAC or CCRA, or both, or to record a current period expense to increase benefit reserves, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We may be required to recognize an impairment on the value of our goodwill, which would increase our expenses and materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Goodwill represents the excess of the amount paid by us to acquire various life insurance companies over the fair value of their net assets at the date of the acquisition. Under U.S. GAAP, we test the carrying value of goodwill for impairment at least annually at the reporting unit level, which is either an operating segment or a business that is one level below the operating segment. Goodwill is impaired if its carrying value exceeds its implied fair value. This may occur for various reasons, including changes in actual or expected earnings or cash flows of a reporting unit, generation of earnings by a reporting unit at a lower rate than similar businesses or declines in market prices for publicly traded businesses similar to our reporting units. If any portion of our goodwill becomes impaired, we would be required to recognize the amount of the impairment as a current-period expense, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In 2017, we recognized a goodwill impairment of $4.6 million on our Home Service Segment. Goodwill in our consolidated financial statements was $12.6 million as of December 31, 2017.
Managements determination of the fair value of each reporting unit incorporates multiple inputs including discounted cash flow calculations based on assumptions that market participants would make in valuing the reporting unit. Other assumptions can include levels of economic capital, future business growth, and earnings projections.
Our conversion to a new actuarial valuation system is not yet complete and contains known uncertainties that could result in identification of additional errors in our financial reporting.
The Company is in the process of converting its actuarial valuation from a third party service provider to an actuarial valuation modeling software system purchased from a vendor. In connection with our ongoing actuarial valuation conversion, certain legacy system immaterial errors were discovered in both 2017 and 2016. As we complete this validation and conversion, we could identify additional differences that will be evaluated for financial reporting purposes. The conversion to the new system is expected to be completed in 2018.
We are a defendant in lawsuits, which may adversely affect our financial condition and detract from the time our management is able to devote to our business, and we are subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory matters.
From time to time we are, and have been, subject to a variety of legal and regulatory actions and investigations relating to our business operations, including, but not limited to:
|||disputes over insurance coverage or claims adjudication;|
|||regulatory compliance with state laws, including insurance and securities regulations;|
|||regulatory compliance with U.S. federal securities laws, tax, anti-money laundering, bank secrecy, anti-bribery, anti-corruption and foreign asset control laws, among others;|
|||disputes with our independent marketing firms, independent consultants and employee-agents over compensation, termination of contracts, noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations and related claims;|
|||disputes regarding our tax liabilities;|
|||disputes relating to reinsurance and coinsurance agreements; and|
|||disputes relating to businesses acquired and operated by us.|
In the absence of countervailing considerations, we would expect to defend any such claims vigorously. However, in doing so, we could incur significant defense costs, including attorneys fees, other direct litigation costs and the expenditure of substantial amounts of management time that otherwise would be devoted to our business. Further, if we suffer an adverse judgment as a result of any claim, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
As noted above, and as disclosed in prior periods, the legal and regulatory actions facing the Company include those relating to compliance with U.S. federal securities laws. Specifically, the Company has been the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which appears to be focused on the Companys internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures in light of the Companys determination in 2015 that a portion of the life insurance and annuity policies issued by its subsidiary insurance companies failed to qualify for the favorable U.S. federal income tax treatment afforded by Sections 7702 and 72(s) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. There have been no allegations of fraud presented by the SEC. We have cooperated fully with the investigation and expect that the matter will be resolved soon, although we cannot predict the timing of a resolution or the ultimate outcome of the investigation.
Reinsurers with which we do business could increase their premium rates and may not honor their obligations, leaving us liable for the reinsured coverage.
We reinsure certain risks underwritten by our various insurance subsidiaries. Market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of the reinsurance protection we purchase. The high cost of reinsurance or lack of affordable coverage could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our reinsurance facilities are generally subject to annual renewal. We may not be able to maintain our current reinsurance facilities and, even if highly desirable or necessary, we may not be able to obtain replacement reinsurance facilities in adequate amounts or at rates economic to us. If we are unable to renew our expiring facilities or to obtain new reinsurance facilities, either our net exposures would increase or, if we are unwilling or unable to bear an increase in net exposures, we may have to reduce the level of our underwriting commitments. In addition, our reinsurance facilities may be canceled for new business, pursuant to their terms, upon the occurrence of certain specified events, including a change of control of our Company (generally defined as the acquisition of 10% or more of our voting equity securities) or the failure of our insurance company subsidiaries to maintain the minimum required levels of statutory surplus. Any of these potential developments could materially adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
In 2017, we reinsured $503.7 million of the face amount of our life insurance policies. Amounts reinsured in 2017 represented 10.1% of the face amount of direct life insurance in force in that year. Although the cost of reinsurance is, in some cases, reflected in premium rates, under certain reinsurance agreements, the reinsurer may increase the
rate it charges us for reinsurance. If our cost of reinsurance were to increase, we might not be able to recover these increased costs, and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. See Note 5 to the Companys consolidated financial statements.
Our international markets face significant competition. If we are unable to compete effectively in our markets, our business, results of operations and profitability may be adversely affected.
Our international marketing plan focuses on making available U.S. dollar-denominated life insurance products to individuals residing in more than 30 countries. New competition could increase the supply of available insurance, which could adversely affect our ability to price our products at attractive profitable rates and thereby adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition. Existing barriers to entry in the foreign markets we serve may not be sufficient to impede potential competitors from entering such markets. In connection with our business with foreign nationals, we experience competition primarily from the following sources, many of which have substantially greater financial, marketing and other resources than we have:
|||Foreign operated companies with U.S. dollar-denominated policies. We face direct competition from companies that operate in the same manner as we operate in our international markets.|
|||Another group of our competitors in the international marketplace consists of foreign operated companies that have locally operated subsidiaries that offer both local jurisdiction regulated products in local currency and off-shore U.S. dollar-denominated policies. This arrangement creates competition in that the U.S. dollar-denominated policies are offered in conjunction with high-need local insurance policies such as health insurance.|
|||Local currency policies provide the benefit of assets located in the country of foreign residents, but entail risks of uncertainty due to local currency fluctuations, as well as the perceived instability and weakness of local currencies.|
|||Locally operated companies with local currency policies. We compete with companies formed and operated in the country in which our foreign insureds reside. Generally, these companies are subject to risks of currency fluctuations, and they primarily use mortality tables based on experience of the local population as a whole. These mortality tables are typically based on significantly shorter life spans than those we use. As a result, the cost of insurance from these companies tends to be higher than ours. Although these companies typically market their policies to a broader section of the population than do our independent marketing firms and independent consultants, there can be no assurance that these companies will not endeavor to place a greater emphasis on our target market and compete more directly with us.|
In addition, from time to time, companies enter and exit the markets in which we operate, thereby increasing competition at times when there are new entrants. We may lose business to competitors offering competitive products at lower prices, or for other reasons.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete effectively in any of our markets. If we do not, our business, results of operations and financial condition will be materially adversely affected.
Sales of our insurance products could decline if we are unable to (i) establish and maintain commercial relationships with independent marketing firms and independent consultants, (ii) attract and retain employee agents or (iii) develop and maintain our distribution sources.
We distribute our insurance products through several distribution channels, including independent marketing firms, independent consultants and our employee agents. These relationships are significant for both our revenues and our profits. In our life insurance segment, we depend almost exclusively on the services of independent marketing firms and independent consultants. In our home service insurance segment, we depend on employee agents whose role in our distribution process is integral to developing and maintaining relationships with policyholders. Significant competition exists among insurers in attracting and maintaining marketers of demonstrated ability. Some of our competitors may offer better compensation packages for marketing firms, independent consultants and agents and
broader arrays of products and have a greater diversity of distribution resources, better brand recognition, more competitive pricing, lower cost structures and greater financial strength or claims paying ratings than we do. We compete with other insurers for marketing firms, independent consultants and employee agents primarily on the basis of our compensation and support services. Any reduction in our ability to attract and retain effective sales representatives could materially adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
There may be adverse tax, legal or financial consequences if our sales representatives are determined not to be independent contractors.
Our international sales representatives are independent contractors who operate their own businesses. Although we believe that we have properly classified our representatives as independent contractors, there is nevertheless a risk that the IRS, a foreign agency, a court or other authority will take the different view that our sales representatives should be treated like employees. Furthermore, the tests governing the determination of whether an individual is considered to be an independent contractor or an employee are typically fact-sensitive and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Laws and regulations that govern the status and misclassification of independent sales representatives are subject to change or interpretation.
If there is a change in the manner in which our independent contractors are classified or an adverse determination with respect to some or all of our independent contractors by a court or governmental agency, we could incur significant costs in complying with such laws and regulations, including in respect of tax withholding, social security payments, government and private pension plan contributions and recordkeeping, or we may be required to modify our business model, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, there is the risk that we may be subject to significant monetary liabilities arising from fines or judgments as a result of any such actual or alleged non-compliance with applicable federal, state, local or foreign laws.
We are subject to extensive governmental regulation in the United States, which is subject to change and may increase our costs of doing business, restrict the conduct of our business and negatively impact our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
We are subject to extensive regulation and supervision in U.S. jurisdictions where we do business, including state insurance regulations and U.S. federal securities, tax, financial services, privacy, anti-money laundering, bank secrecy, anti-corruption and foreign asset control laws. Insurance company regulation is generally designed to protect the interests of policyholders, with substantially lesser protections to shareholders of the regulated insurance companies. To that end, all the states in which we do business have insurance regulatory agencies with broad legal powers with respect to licensing companies to transact business; mandating capital and surplus requirements; regulating trade and claims practices; approving policy forms; and restricting companies ability to enter and exit markets.
The capacity for an insurance companys growth in premiums is partially a function of its required statutory surplus. Maintaining appropriate levels of statutory surplus, as measured by statutory accounting practices prescribed or permitted by a companys state of domicile, is considered important by all state insurance regulatory authorities. Failure to maintain required levels of statutory surplus could result in increased regulatory scrutiny and enforcement action by regulatory authorities.
Most insurance regulatory authorities have broad discretion to grant, renew, suspend and revoke licenses and approvals, and could preclude or temporarily suspend us from carrying on some or all of our activities, including acquisitions of other insurance companies, require us to add capital to our insurance company subsidiaries, or fine us. If we are unable to maintain all required licenses and approvals, or if our insurance business is determined not to comply fully with the wide variety of applicable laws and regulations and their interpretations, including the USA Patriot Act, our revenues, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Our failure to maintain effective information systems could adversely affect our business.
We must maintain and enhance our existing information systems and develop new information systems in order to keep pace with continuing changes in information processing technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards
and changing customer preferences. If we do not maintain adequate systems, we could experience adverse consequences, including products acquired through acquisition, inadequate information on which to base pricing, underwriting and reserve decisions, regulatory problems, failure to meet prompt payment obligations, increases in administrative expenses and loss of customers.
Some of our information technology systems and software are mainframe-based, legacy-type systems that require an ongoing commitment of resources to maintain current standards. Our systems utilize proprietary code requiring highly skilled personnel. Due to the unique nature of our proprietary operating environment, we could have difficulty finding personnel with the skills required to provide ongoing system maintenance and development as we seek to keep pace with changes in our products and business models, information processing technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards and policyholder needs. Our success is dependent upon, among other things, maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of existing systems, as well as continuing to integrate, develop and enhance our information systems to support business processes in a cost-effective manner.
Our failure to maintain effective and efficient information systems, or our failure to efficiently and effectively consolidate our information systems to eliminate redundant or obsolete applications, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Failures of disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, impair our ability to timely file reports with the SEC and subject us to litigation and/or regulatory scrutiny and penalties.
We maintain disclosure controls and procedures designed to ensure that we timely report information as specified in SEC rules and regulations. We also maintain a system of internal control over financial reporting. However, these controls may not achieve, and in some cases have not achieved, their intended objectives. Control processes that involve human diligence and oversight, such as our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, are subject to human error. Controls that rely on models may be subject to inadequate design or inaccurate assumptions or estimates. Controls also can be circumvented by improper management override of such controls. Because of such limitations, there are risks that material misstatements due to error or fraud may not be prevented or detected, and that information may not be reported on a timely basis. The failure of our controls to be effective could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and the market for our common stock, and could subject us to litigation, regulatory scrutiny and/or penalties.
As disclosed in Part II, Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have identified control deficiencies in our disclosure controls and financial reporting process that constitute material weaknesses and for which remediation is still in process as of December 31, 2017. If we fail to design effective controls, fail to remediate control deficiencies or fail to otherwise maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting in the future, such failures could result in a material misstatement of our annual or quarterly financial statements that would not be prevented or detected on a timely basis and which could cause investors to lose confidence in our financial statements, have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock, limit our ability to obtain financing if needed or increase the cost of any financing we may obtain. In addition, these failures may negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations, impair our ability to timely file our periodic reports with the SEC, subject us to litigation and regulatory scrutiny and cause us to incur substantial additional costs in future periods relating to the implementation of remedial measures.
Our failure to protect confidential information and privacy could result in the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or confidential corporate or customer information, damage to our reputation, loss of customers, fines, penalties and adverse effects on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to privacy regulations. The actions we take to protect confidential information include among other things: monitoring our record retention plans and policies and any changes in state or federal privacy and compliance requirements; maintaining secure storage facilities for tangible records; and limiting access to electronic information in order to safeguard certain information.
We have a written information security program with appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect such confidential information. Cyber security attacks are on the rise throughout the world and while we
believe we have taken reasonable steps to secure our customer information we could experience a breach of data. We closely monitor cyber attack attempts on our system, and we are not aware of any material breach of our cybersecurity, administrative, technical and physical safeguards or client data. Nevertheless, it is possible a cyber attack could go undetected and that preventative actions we take to reduce this risk of cyber-incidents and protect our information may be insufficient to prevent cyber attacks or other security breaches.
If we do not comply with privacy regulations and protect confidential information, we could experience adverse consequences, including regulatory sanctions, loss of reputation, litigation exposure, disruptions to our operations or significant technical, legal and operating expenses, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our insurance subsidiaries are restricted by applicable laws and regulations in the amounts of fees, dividends and other distributions they may make to us. The inability of our subsidiaries to make payments to us in sufficient amounts for us to conduct our operations could adversely affect our ability to meet our obligations or expand our business.
As a holding company, our principal asset is the stock of our subsidiaries. We rely primarily on statutorily permissible payments from our insurance company subsidiaries, principally through service agreements we have with our subsidiaries, to meet our working capital and other corporate expenses. The ability of our insurance company subsidiaries to make payments to us is subject to regulation by the states in which they are domiciled, and these payments depend primarily on approved service agreements between us and these subsidiaries and, to a lesser extent, the statutory surplus (which is the excess of assets over liabilities as determined under statutory accounting practices prescribed by an insurance companys state of domicile), future statutory earnings (which are earnings as determined in accordance with statutory accounting practices) and regulatory restrictions.
Generally, the net assets of our insurance company subsidiaries available for dividends are limited to either the lesser or greater (depending on the state of domicile) of the subsidiarys net gain from operations during the preceding year and 10% of the subsidiarys net statutory surplus as of the end of the preceding year as determined in accordance with accounting practices prescribed by insurance regulatory authorities.
Except to the extent that we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, claims of our subsidiaries creditors, including policyholders, have priority with respect to the assets and earnings of the subsidiaries over the claims of our creditors and shareholders. If any of our subsidiaries becomes insolvent, liquidates or otherwise reorganizes, our creditors and shareholders will have no right to proceed in their own right against the assets of that subsidiary or to cause the liquidation, bankruptcy or winding-up of the subsidiary under applicable liquidation, bankruptcy or winding-up laws.
Unexpected losses in future reporting periods may require us to adjust the valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets.
We evaluate our deferred tax asset (DTA) quarterly for recoverability based on available evidence. This process involves managements judgment about assumptions, which are subject to change from period to period due to tax rate changes or variances between our projected operating performance and our actual results. Ultimately, future adjustments to the DTA valuation allowance, if any, will be determined based upon changes in the expected realization of the net deferred tax assets. The realization of the deferred tax assets depends on the existence of sufficient taxable income in either the carry back or carry forward periods under applicable tax law. Due to significant estimates utilized in establishing the valuation allowance and the potential for changes in facts and circumstances, it is reasonably possible that we may be required to record a valuation allowance in future reporting periods. Such an adjustment could have a material adverse effect on our results of operation, financial condition and capital position.
We face a greater risk of money laundering activity associated with sales derived from residents of certain foreign countries.
Some of our top international markets are in countries identified by the U.S. Department of State as jurisdictions of high risk for money laundering. As required by Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations applicable to insurance
companies, we have developed and implemented an anti-money laundering program that includes policies and procedures for complying with our applicable BSA program, auditing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements and for deterring, preventing and detecting potential money laundering, fraud and other criminal activity (BSA Program). We have an enhanced BSA Program with additional controls, such as list screening software beyond sanctions screening required by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), enhanced payment due diligence and transaction controls. However, there can be no assurance that these enhanced controls will entirely mitigate money laundering risk associated with these jurisdictions.
Risks Relating to Our Capital Stock
If our foreign policyholders reduced or ceased participation in our Stock Investment Plan (the Plan) or if a securities regulatory authority were to deem the CISIPs operation contrary to securities laws, the volume of Class A common stock purchased on the open market through the CISIP, and the price of our Class A common stock, could fall.
More than 96% of the shares of Class A common stock purchased under the CISIP in 2017 were purchased by foreign holders of life insurance policies (or related brokers); the remaining 4% of the shares of Class A common stock purchased under the CISIP in 2017 were purchased by approximately 1,864 participants resident in the United States. The CISIP is registered with the SEC pursuant to a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, but is not registered under the laws of any foreign jurisdiction. If a foreign securities regulatory authority were to determine the offer and sale of our Class A common stock under the CISIP were contrary to applicable laws and regulations of its jurisdiction, such authority may issue or assert a fine, penalty or cease and desist order against us in that foreign jurisdiction. There is a risk our Class A common stock price could be negatively impacted by a decrease in participation in the CISIP. If fewer policyholders elect to participate in the Plan, or our international premium collections were to decrease as a result of regulatory, economic, or marketing impediments, the trading volume of our Class A common stock may decline from its present levels, the demand for our Class A common stock could be negatively impacted and the price of our Class A common stock could fall.
Control of our Company, through the ownership of our Class B Common Stock, has transferred from our founder to a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation established by our founder, and we cannot determine whether any change in our management, operations, or operating strategies will occur as a result of this ownership change.
Harold E. Riley, our founder, was the beneficial owner of 100% of our Class B common stock, which was held in the name of the Harold E. Riley Trust (Trust), of which he had served as Trustee until his death in September 2017. Our Class A and Class B common stock are identical in all respects, except the Class B common stock elects a simple majority of the Board and receives one-half of any cash dividends paid, on a per share basis, to the Class A shares. The Class A common stock elects the remainder of the Board. The Trust documents provided that upon Mr. Rileys death, the Class B common stock was transferred from the Trust to the Harold E. Riley Foundation, a charitable organization established under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Foundation). Therefore, the Foundation controls our Company. The Foundation is organized as a public support charity for the benefit of its charitable beneficiaries, Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Foundation is governed by 11 trustees, five of which were appointed by Harold Riley prior to his death, three of which were appointed by Baylor University and three of which were appointed by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is unclear what, if any, change will occur to our board, management, or corporate operating strategies as a result of different ownership of our Class B common stock. The transfer of our Class B common stock from the Trust has triggered the first of two prongs of certain change in control provisions in the employment agreements of our top two executives: President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Kolander and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer Kay Osbourn. Under each employment agreement, a change in control includes, among other things (1) the transfer of a majority of the Companys Class B common stock from the Trust to an individual other than Harold E. Riley, an entity not beneficially owned by Harold E. Riley, or a trust not controlled by Harold E. Riley and (2) the exercise of a power of attorney granted by Harold E. Riley over the Companys Class B common stock. Upon a termination of the executive by Citizens without cause or the executives voluntary termination with Good Reason, in each case other than within the ninety (90) day period prior to the consummation of a change in control or within one (1) year following a change in control, the executive would be entitled to certain cash payments and benefits.
There are a substantial number of our shares of Class A common stock issued to our executive officers and directors which are eligible for future sale in the public market. The sale of these shares could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to fall.
There were 49,080,114 shares of our Class A common stock issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2017. Our executive officers and directors owned approximately 54,436 shares of our Class A common stock as of December 31, 2017, representing approximately 0.1% of our then outstanding Class A common stock. Almost all of these shares have been registered for public resale and generally may be sold freely. In the event of a sale of some or all of these shares or the perceived sale of these shares, the market price of our Class A common stock could fall substantially.
The price of our Class A common stock may be volatile and may be affected by market conditions beyond our control.
Our Class A common stock price has historically fluctuated and is likely to fluctuate in the future and could decline materially because of the volatility of the stock market in general, decreased participation in the CISIP referred to above or a variety of other factors, many of which are beyond our control, including: quarterly or annual variations in actual or anticipated results of our operations; interest rate fluctuations; changes in financial estimates by securities analysts; competition and other factors affecting the life insurance business generally; and conditions in the U.S. and world economies.
Our international markets, and the specific manner in which we conduct our business in those jurisdictions, may be subject to negative publicity in social media or other channels, which may negatively impact the market price of our Class A common stock.
We interface with and distribute our products to residents of foreign countries that may be subject to the risks disclosed in our Item 1A. Risk Factor under the heading, The majority of our sales derive from residents of foreign countries and are subject to risks associated with widespread political instability, currency control laws and foreign insurance laws. A significant loss of sales in these foreign markets could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Venezuela is one such example. Accordingly, from time to time, bloggers or other social media outlets relevant to investors may focus attention on our exposure to these countries and the negative circumstances surrounding their governments, thereby subjecting us to periodic negative publicity. Negative publicity on investor blogs or through other media channels could impact trading in our stock especially due to aggressive and coordinated efforts between anonymous bloggers and short sellers which ultimately cause the market price of our Class A common stock to fall.
Our articles of incorporation and bylaws, as well as applicable state insurance laws, may discourage takeovers and business combinations that our shareholders might consider to be in their best interests.
Our articles of incorporation and bylaws, as well as various state insurance laws, may delay, deter, render more difficult or prevent a takeover attempt our shareholders might consider in their best interests. As a result, our shareholders will be prevented from receiving the benefit from any premium to the market price of our Class A common stock that may be offered by a bidder in a takeover context. Even in the absence of a takeover attempt, the existence of these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of our Class A common stock if they are viewed as discouraging takeover attempts in the future.
The following provisions in our articles of incorporation and bylaws make it difficult for our Class A shareholders to replace or remove our directors and have other anti-takeover effects that may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt:
|||holders of shares of our Class B common stock elect a simple majority of our board of directors, and all of these shares are owned by the Harold E. Riley Foundation; and|
|||our board of directors may issue one or more series of preferred stock without the approval of our shareholders.|
State insurance laws generally require prior approval of a change in control of an insurance company. Generally, such laws provide that control over an insurer is presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds with the power to vote, or holds proxies representing 10% or more of the voting securities of the insurer. In considering an application to acquire control of an insurer, an insurance commissioner generally will consider such factors as the experience, competence and financial strength of the proposed acquirer, the integrity of the proposed acquirers board of directors and executive officers, the proposed acquirers plans for the management and operation of the insurer, and any anti-competitive results that may arise from the acquisition. In addition, a person seeking to acquire control of an insurance company is required in some states to make filings prior to completing an acquisition if the acquirer and the target insurance company and their affiliates have sufficiently large market shares in particular lines of insurance in those states. These state insurance requirements may delay, deter or prevent our ability to complete an acquisition.
We have never paid any cash dividends on our Class A common stock and do not anticipate doing so in the foreseeable future.
We have never paid cash dividends on our Class A common stock, as it is our policy to retain earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business. We do not expect to pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock for the foreseeable future.
The following discussion sets forth the provisions of the plan that we believe will be most important to participants and prospective participants in the plan.
The Transaction and Fee Table that is attached to this prospectus as Appendix B, sets forth in summary form the transaction types, the minimum and maximum permitted investments, and the Transaction Fees associated with the respective transaction types. The information set forth in the Transaction and Fee Table is discussed in more detail below. In addition, for a more complete understanding, you should refer to the copy of the plan that is included at the end of this prospectus as Appendix A.
Am I eligible to participate in the plan?
The plan may be offered to applicants and owners of insurance policies issued by the Company or our subsidiaries, existing holders of Class A common stock, our employees or our independent consultants. Copies of this prospectus will be provided to members of these groups upon their request. We may distribute copies of this prospectus to members of these groups without first receiving a request.
The plan may also be offered to other persons who make inquiries regarding the plan to us or the plan administrator. A copy of this prospectus may be delivered to persons who make these inquiries upon their request.
EXCEPT FOR DELIVERY OF COPIES OF THIS PROSPECTUS AND RELATED MATERIALS FOR CLERICAL PURPOSES ONLY, WE HAVE NOT AUTHORIZED ANY OF OUR EMPLOYEES OR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OR RESPOND TO NON-MINISTERIAL INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PLAN, AND YOU MUST INSTEAD CONTACT THE PLAN ADMINISTRATOR. Any person who contacts us concerning the plan will be referred to the plan administrator for responses to the persons questions and non-ministerial inquiries.
If you wish to participate in the plan, you may do so only after receiving a copy of this prospectus, and you must complete an enrollment form, return it to the plan administrator and comply with any other applicable requirements as set forth below and in the copy of the plan included at the end of this prospectus and as may be communicated to you by the plan administrator.
Following are additional features and requirements relating to participation in the plan:
|||Applicants or owners of our insurance policies may elect to have policy benefits, including dividends, automatically invested in Class A common stock through the plan. Likewise, our contracted international independent consultants may elect to have portions of their earnings automatically invested in Class A common stock through the plan.|
|||If you do not currently own any of our Class A common stock, you may join the plan, as set forth above, and by making an initial investment of at least $250, but not more than $120,000 in any calendar year. However, if you are one of our policyholders, a registered holder of our Class A common stock, or a member of our marketing force, and you elect to assign your policy benefits (including dividends paid on life insurance policies) or commissions to the plan, this $250 minimum requirement does not apply.|
|||If you do not currently own any of our Class A common stock, you can get started in the plan by returning a completed enrollment form to the plan administrator, along with your check payable to: Computershare Citizens, Inc. You can also join the plan via the Internet at www.computershare.com and fund your initial investment with a one-time online bank debit from your U.S. bank account. Alternatively, you can agree to authorize a minimum of ten consecutive automatic deductions of at least $25 each from your U.S. bank account to fund the amount of your initial investment. The plan administrator will arrange for the purchase of shares for your account but will not pay interest on amounts held pending investment. Please allow two weeks for your account to be established, initial shares to be purchased and a statement to be mailed to you.|
|||If you already own our Class A common stock and your shares are registered in your name, you may join the plan by returning a completed enrollment form to the plan administrator. Alternatively, you may enroll via the Internet at www.computershare.com and follow the instructions provided. IN ADDITION, YOU MAY TRANSFER SHARES YOU ALREADY OWN INTO THE PLAN AT NO ADDITIONAL COST.|
|||If your shares are held in a brokerage, bank or other intermediary account, and you wish to participate directly in the plan, you should direct your broker, bank or trustee to register some or all of your shares of Class A common stock directly in your name.|
Can I participate in the plan if I am a non-U.S. resident?
If you live outside the United States, you should first determine if there are any laws or governmental regulations that would prohibit your participation in the plan. We reserve the right to terminate participation of any stockholder and to refuse participation in the plan to any person if it deems it advisable under any foreign laws or regulations.
What are my Investment Options?
Once enrolled in the plan, you have the following investment options:
|||ASSIGNMENT OF POLICY BENEFITS OR COMMISSIONS. Subject to such terms as we may require, if you are one of our policy applicants or policyholders, you may assign policy benefits, including dividends on a life insurance policy, to the plan to be invested in our Class A common stock. Similarly, if you are a member of our marketing force, you may assign commissions earned upon sale of insurance policies to the plan for investment in Class A common stock.|
|||OPTIONAL CASH INVESTMENTS. You may purchase additional shares of our Class A common stock by using the plans optional cash investment feature. You must invest at least $25 at any one time but not more than $120,000 in a calendar year. We will not pay interest on amounts held pending investment.|
You may make optional cash investments by sending a check to the plan administrator payable to: Computershare Citizens, Inc. To facilitate processing of your investment, please use the transaction stub located on the bottom of your plan statement. Mail your investment and transaction stub to the address specified on the statement. The plan administrator will not accept cash, travelers checks, money orders or third party checks. You may also invest by making a one-time online bank debit from your U.S. bank account.
To invest on a regular, periodic basis, you may authorize monthly automatic deductions of $25 or more from your U.S. bank account. To initiate automatic deductions, you may enroll through the plan administrators website, www.computershare.com, or, complete and sign an Authorization Form for Automatic Deductions and return it to the plan administrator. Forms will be processed and will become effective as promptly as practicable; however, you should allow four to six weeks for your first investment to be initiated. Once automatic deductions are initiated, funds will be drawn from your account on either the 1st or 15th of each month, or both (as chosen by you, or the next business day if either the 1st or the 15th is not a business day, and will normally be invested within five business days). Automatic deductions will continue at the level you set until you change your instructions by notifying the plan administrator.
You any also make optional cash investments by going to the plan administrators website, www.computershare.com, and authorizing a one-time online bank debit from an account at U.S. bank or financial institution. You should refer to the online confirmation for the account debit date and investment date.
In the event that your check for a optional cash investment is returned unpaid for any reason, or an authorized electronic funds transfer cannot be affected, the plan administrator will consider the request for investment of such funds null and void, and the plan administrator will immediately remove from your account those shares, if any, purchased upon the prior credit of such funds. The plan administrator will thereupon be entitled to sell shares to satisfy an uncollected amount plus a fee of $35.00. If the net proceeds of the sale of such shares are insufficient to satisfy the balance of such uncollected amounts, the plan administrator will be entitled to sell such additional shares from your account as may be necessary to satisfy the uncollected balance.
|||DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT. If we declare any cash dividends on our Class A common stock in the future, you may choose to reinvest the dividends on all, none or any portion of your shares toward the purchase of additional shares of Class A common stock. However, historically we have not paid cash dividends on our Class A common stock and we do not presently have plans for doing so. You can change your dividend reinvestment election at any time by notifying the plan administrator. For a particular dividend to be reinvested, your notification must be received before the record date for that dividend.|
How are my shares purchased?
Shares of our Class A common stock purchased under the plan will be shares purchased by the plan administrator through its broker on any securities exchange where such shares are traded, in the over-the-counter market, or by negotiated transactions, upon such terms with respect to price, delivery, etc., as the plan administrator may accept. The investment price of our Class A common stock purchased will be the weighted average price incurred in connection with the purchase of such shares. Any applicable service and trading fees will be deducted from the amount you invest prior to the purchase of shares. In the unlikely event that, due to unusual market conditions, the plan administrator is unable to invest the funds within 35 days, the plan administrator will return the funds to you by check. No interest will be paid on funds held by the plan administrator pending investment. Shares will be purchased beginning on an investment date, which means each business day on which the plan administrator determines that sufficient optional cash investments, initial cash investments, policy dividends and assigned policy benefits (including policy dividends) and commissions have been received and not previously invested to warrant investing amounts in our Class A common stock. However, there will be at least one investment date in any week in which the plan administrator receives at least one optional cash investment, one initial cash investment, any assigned benefits or commissions, or any dividends for investment.
After deduction of any applicable service and trading fees, your account will be credited with that number of shares, including fractional shares computed to six decimal places, equal to the amount invested with respect to your plan account, divided by the price per share of such shares for all purchases for all plan participants for an investment date.
Unless you request one, a certificate for any shares of Class A common stock purchased under the plan will not be issued. The number of shares purchased for your account under the plan will be shown on your statement of account in book-entry form. This feature protects against loss, theft or destruction of stock certificates.
How do I sell my shares out of the plan?
You may sell any number of shares held in your plan account by notifying the plan administrator by telephone, over the Internet or in writing. If you have a certificate for any shares which you desire to sell, it will be necessary for you to deliver the certificate as the plan administrator directs in order to effect the sale. You have two choices when making a sale, depending on how you submit your sale request, as follows:
|||Market Order: A market order is a request to sell shares promptly at the current market price. Market order sales are only available at www.computershare.com through Investor Centre or by calling the plan administrator directly at 1-877-785-9659. Market order sale requests received at www.computershare.com through Investor Centre or by telephone will be placed promptly upon receipt during market hours (normally 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). Any orders received after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time will be placed promptly on the next day the market is open. The price will be the market price of the sale obtained by the plan administrators broker, less a service fee of $25 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold.|
|||Batch Order: A batch order is an accumulation of all sale requests for a security submitted together as a collective request. Batch orders are submitted on each market day, assuming there are sale requests to be processed. Sale instructions for batch orders received by the plan administrator will be processed no later than five business days after the date on which the order is received (except where deferral is required under applicable federal or state laws or regulations), assuming the applicable market is open for trading and sufficient market liquidity exists. Batch order sales are available at www.computershare.com through Investor Centre or by calling the plan administrator directly at 1-877-785-9659. All sales requests received in writing will be submitted as batch order sales. The plan administrator will cause your shares to be sold on the open market within five business days of receipt of your request. To maximize cost savings for batch order sales requests, the plan administrator may combine each selling participants shares with those of other selling participants. In every case of a batch order sale, the price to each selling participant shall be the weighted average sale price obtained by the plan administrators broker for each aggregate order placed by the plan administrator and executed by the broker, less a service fee of $15 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold.|
The plan administrator may, for various reasons, require a transaction request to be submitted in writing. Participants should contact the plan administrator to determine if their particular request, including any sales request, must be submitted in writing. The plan administrator reserves the right to decline to process a sale if it determines, in its sole discretion, that supporting legal documentation is required.
May I gift my shares out of the plan?
You may gift or transfer all or part of your shares to any recipient you choose by completing and signing a transfer request form provided by the plan administrator. If the recipient is already a participant in the plan, the shares will be credited to the participants account. The additional shares in the participants account will be subject to whatever election the recipient has made concerning dividend reinvestment. If the recipient is not a participant, a new account will be opened in the recipients name, and you may make a dividend reinvestment election on behalf of the recipient. However, the recipient at any time may change the dividend reinvestment election or terminate the recipients participation in the plan. You may request a copy of the Transfer of Ownership Form by calling the plan administrator or by downloading the forms from the plan administrators website at www.computershare.com.
Requests for transfer of book-entry shares are subject to the same requirements as the transfer of our stock certificates, including the requirement of having your signature guaranteed by a financial institution participating in the Medallion Guarantee program. The Medallion Guarantee program ensures that the individual signing the certificate or transfer instructions is in fact the registered owner as the name appears on the stock certificate or stock power.
If you need additional assistance, please contact the plan administrator.
How do I obtain my stock certificates?
Certificates for any number of whole shares credited to your account under the plan will be issued upon your request by telephone, over the Internet or in writing. Unless you request otherwise, shares for which a certificate is issued to you will be subject to whatever election you have made concerning dividend reinvestment. Any remaining shares will continue to be credited in book-entry form to your account. Certificates for fractions of shares will not be issued, and you will instead receive a cash payment for the fractional share based on the then current market price of the stock less trading fees and applicable taxes.
What are the prices of shares purchased through the plan?
The purchase price of the Class A common stock purchased for you under the plan will be the weighted average price per share of all shares purchased for an investment date.
What are the transaction fees (service and trading fees, taxes, and other expenses) relating to participation in the plan?
A service fee, if applicable, a trading fee and any applicable taxes will be deducted from the amount you invest prior to the purchase of shares with the remainder. If you sell shares through the plan, any service fee, a trading fee and any applicable taxes payable will be deducted from the sales proceeds and you will receive a check for the net proceeds of sale. We will otherwise pay most of any costs, fees and expenses to the administrator of the plan. The Transaction Fees transaction types are set forth on the Transaction and Fee Table, attached as Appendix B to this prospectus.
How is my investment tracked?
The plan administrator will send a statement of account to you at least once a year, and will send additional statements upon your reasonable request. In addition, the plan administrator will send statements to you when you make an initial or optional cash investment or a deposit, transfer or withdrawal of shares.
Please retain your plan statements to establish the cost basis of shares purchased under the plan for income tax and other purposes.
You may also view year-to-date transaction activity in your plan account for the current year, as well as activity in prior years, by accessing your plan account through the Internet at the plan administrators website, www.computershare.com. You should notify the plan administrator promptly of any change in address since all notices, statements and reports will be mailed to your address of record.
How do I withdraw from participation in the plan?
You may withdraw from the plan at any time. In order to withdraw from the plan, you must provide notice instructing the plan administrator to terminate your account. If the plan administrator receives such notice near a record date for an account whose dividends are to be reinvested, the plan administrator, in its sole discretion, may either distribute such dividends in cash or reinvest them in shares on your behalf. In the event reinvestment is made, the plan administrator will process the termination as soon as practicable, but in no event later than five business days after the investment is completed. To terminate your account, call, write or submit your request through the Internet to the plan administrator.
If you have assigned benefits from one of our life insurance policies, or sales commissions, you must also notify us in writing of your desire to terminate this assignment.
Our shares of Class A common stock are eligible for inclusion in the Direct Registration System (DRS) administered by The Depository Trust Company. Under the DRS, the plan administrator will continue to hold your shares in book-entry form unless you request a certificate for any full shares and a check for any fractional share. Alternatively, you may request the sale of all or part of any such shares or have the plan administrator electronically transfer your shares to your brokerage account. The plan administrator will convert to cash any fractional shares held in your account at the time of termination at the then current market price of the Class A common stock, net of any service and trading fees and applicable taxes.
After you withdraw from the plan, you may rejoin the plan at any time by filing a new enrollment form with the plan administrator. However, the plan administrator has the right to reject such enrollment form if you repeatedly join and withdraw from the plan, or for any other reason. The plan administrators exercise of such right is intended to minimize unnecessary administrative expenses and to encourage use of the plan as a long-term stockholder investment service.
What are some of the tax consequences of my participation in the plan?
This is a general discussion of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the plan. You should consult your own tax advisor with respect to the tax consequences of participation in the plan (including federal, state, local and other tax laws and U.S. tax withholding laws) applicable to your particular situation.
You will not realize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes upon a transfer of shares to your plan account or the withdrawal of whole shares from your account. You will, however, generally realize gain or loss upon the receipt of cash for a fractional share credited to your account. You will also realize gain or loss when shares are sold. The amount of gain or loss will be the difference between the amount that you receive for the shares sold and your tax basis in the shares (generally, the amount you paid for the shares, plus brokerage commissions paid). In order to determine the tax basis for shares in your account, you should retain all account statements.
Cash dividends (if we were to declare any) reinvested under the plan will be taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes as having been received by you even though you have not actually received them in cash. If we were to pay dividends, they would be reported, whether or not reinvested, to you and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service shortly after the close of each year. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service may require that any per share trading fees (which includes any brokerage commissions the plan administrator is required to pay) incurred in the purchase of shares, paid by us on your behalf, be treated as dividend income to you and that such amounts paid for per share trading fees can be included in your cost basis of shares purchased.
If you are a foreign stockholder, your dividends are subject to federal income tax withholding at the treaty rate. If applicable, the appropriate amount will be withheld and the balance in shares will be credited to your account. If you are a non-resident alien or a non-U.S. corporation, partnership, or other entity, you are subject to a withholding tax on dividends earned on your plan shares. You also may be subject to the backup withholding provisions of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to any dividends or proceeds from the sales of your shares if you fail to furnish a properly completed Form W-9 or its equivalent or are otherwise subject to backup withholding.
How do I vote my shares held under the Plan?
We will send or forward to you all applicable proxy solicitation materials, other stockholder materials or consent solicitation materials. You shall have the exclusive right to exercise all voting rights respecting your shares. You may vote any of your whole or fractional shares of which you are the record holder in person or by proxy. Your proxy card shall include your whole or fractional shares of which you are the record holder. Your shares shall not be voted unless you vote them. However, unless you notify us in writing that you elect to withhold the Plan Administrators authority, the Plan Administrator is deemed to have the written authorization to appear in person or by proxy at any annual or special meeting of shareholders of the Company and to submit your unvoted shares at the meeting for the sole purpose of determining a quorum.
Solicitation of the exercise of your voting rights by the management of the Company or others under a proxy or consent provision applicable to all holders of common stock shall be permitted. Solicitation of the exercise of your tender or exchange offer rights by management of the Company or others shall also be permitted.
This prospectus relates to shares of our Class A common stock that may be offered and sold from time to time under the plan. Under the plan, the administrator purchases shares of our Class A common stock in the open market for the account of the participants who enroll in the plan with proceeds provided by plan participants. We do not issue any shares to plan participants in conjunction with the plan and we do not receive any proceeds from the purchase of shares of Class A common stock pursuant to the plan.
The aggregate number of shares which the Company is authorized to issue is 100,000,000 shares of Class A common stock, with no par value, and 2,000,000 shares of Class B common stock, with no par value; of which 49,080,114 shares of Class A common stock and 1,001,714 shares of Class Bcommon stock are issued and outstanding, fully paid and nonassessable. These numbers do not include treasury shares.
The cash dividends paid upon each share of Citizens Class A common stock is twice the cash dividends paid on each share of Citizens Class B common stock.
The voting rights of Citizens Class A common stock and Class B common stock are equal in all respects except that the holders of Class B common stock have the exclusive right to elect a simple majority of the members of the Companys Board of Directors, and the holders of Class A common stock have the exclusive right to elect the remaining directors.
The holders of common stock do not have cumulative voting rights. The Companys Articles of Incorporation do not contain a provision to reduce the two-thirds voting requirement found in the Colorado Corporation Code.
The Companys Articles of Incorporation provide that the Board of Directors has the power to enact, alter, amend and repeal our bylaws not inconsistent with the laws of Colorado or the Articles of Incorporation, as the Board of Directors deems best for the management of the Company; however Colorado statutes give shareholders the right to amend and repeal bylaws even it not so provided for in the bylaws themselves.
Special meetings of shareholders may be called by a majority of the Board of Directors or by the holders of shares representing at least ten percent of all votes entitled to be cast on any matter proposed to be considered at the special meeting, if the Company receives one or more written demands for the meeting, stating the purpose or purposes for which it is to be held, signed and dated by such holders. A majority of the shares of the outstanding capital stock entitled to vote constitutes a quorum of shareholders under our bylaws. Our bylaws provide that shareholders can take action without a meeting provided that all the shareholders entitled to vote have consented to the action in writing.
Shares of the Company may be issued at any time, and from time to time, in such amounts, and for such consideration as may be fixed by the Board of Directors. No shareholder has any preemptive or preferential right to purchase or to subscribe for any shares of capital stock or other securities which may be issued by the Company.
In the event of any liquidation, dissolution, or winding up of the Company, whether voluntary or involuntary, the shareholders are entitled to share, on a share-for-share basis, any of the assets or funds of the Company which are distributable to its shareholders upon such liquidation, dissolution, or winding up.
The validity of the Class A common stock covered by this prospectus has been passed upon for us by Hogan Lovells US LLP.
Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The consolidated financial statements, and the related financial statement schedules, incorporated in this Prospectus by reference from the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and the effectiveness of the Companys internal control over financial reporting have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their reports (which report on the internal control over financial reporting expresses an adverse opinion on the effectiveness of the Companys internal control over financial reporting because of material weaknesses), which are incorporated herein by reference. Such consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedules have been so incorporated in reliance upon the reports of such firm given upon their authority as experts in accounting and auditing.
The consolidated financial statements and the related financial statement schedules of the Company for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 appearing in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their report, which is incorporated herein by reference. Such financial statements and the related financial statement schedules have been incorporated herein by reference in reliance upon such report given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.
Our Transfer Agent and Registrar is Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information that we file at the SECs public reference room located at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-732-0330 for further information on the operation of such public reference room. You can also request copies of such documents, upon payment of a duplicating fee, by writing to the SEC at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Our SEC filings are also available to the public at the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov.
You may obtain any of the documents incorporated by reference by contacting us or the SEC or through the SECs Internet Website, as described above. Documents incorporated by reference are available from us without charge, excluding all exhibits unless specifically incorporated by reference as an exhibit to this prospectus. You may obtain documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus by requesting them in writing or by telephone from us at the following address: 2900 Esperanza Crossing, 2nd Floor, Austin, Texas 78758, Attention: Secretary, telephone (512) 837-7100, e-mail email@example.com. Copies of these documents are also available on our website, www.citizensinc.com.
As permitted by General Instruction VII to Form S-1, the SEC allows us to incorporate by reference into this prospectus the information we have previously filed with it, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus. The following documents filed with the SEC are hereby incorporated by reference into this prospectus:
(a) Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed on March 29, 2018;
(b) The portions of our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed on April 24, 2018, that are specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed on March 29, 2018; and
(c) Our Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on January 26, 2018 and April 25, 2018.
This prospectus is part of a registration statement that we filed with the SEC. Upon written or oral request, we will provide, without charge, to each person, including beneficial owners of our securities, to whom a copy of this prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information incorporated by reference in this prospectus (other than exhibits to such documents, unless the exhibits are specifically incorporated by reference in such documents). Your requests for copies should be directed to the Secretary, Citizens, Inc., 2900 Esperanza Crossing, 2nd Floor, Austin, Texas 78758; telephone (512) 837-7100; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies of these documents are also available on our website, www.citizensinc.com.
CITIZENS, INC. STOCK INVESTMENT PLAN, AS AMENDED AND RESTATED
Citizens, Inc., a Colorado corporation, effective March 1, 2013, hereby establishes the Amended and Restated Stock Investment Plan originally adopted on or about April 10, 2001 (the Plan).
WHEREAS, the Company (as hereinafter defined) wishes to offer to certain clients, independent consultants and potential investors stock purchase opportunities and services in an effort to enhance the attractiveness to investors of the Companys Class A common stock, no par value per share (Common Stock), and to offer to security holders the ability to maintain registered ownership of their securities in a manner which facilitates efficient purchases and sales of securities;
WHEREAS, the Company is not an Affiliate (as hereinafter defined) of the Administrator, and has been subject to the reporting requirements of Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (as defined herein) for a period of at least 90 days;
WHEREAS, the purposes of the Plan are to provide a convenient and economical means for new investors, independent consultants and other clients of the Company and its subsidiaries to make an initial investment in Common Stock, and for existing holders of Common Stock to have all, part or none of their dividends automatically reinvested in shares of Common Stock, and to purchase additional shares of Common Stock, and to facilitate registered ownership of Common Stock;
WHEREAS, the Plan will include an Investor Registration Option feature enabling an investor to have its share ownership registered directly on the stock records of the Company while providing investors with a safe, efficient and inexpensive alternative to certificate-based or nominee ownership;
WHEREAS, the Company adopted the Plan on or about April 10, 2001, and wishes to amend and restate the Plan in its entirety.
NOW, THEREFORE; the Plan is hereby amended and restated in its entirety as follows:
The terms defined in this Article I shall, for all purposes of this Plan, have the following respective meanings:
Account. The term Account shall mean, as to any Participant, the account maintained by the Administrator evidencing (i) the shares (and/or fraction of a share) of Common Stock, consisting of Plan Book-Entry Shares (a) purchased through the Plan or (b) deposited by such Participant into the Plan pursuant to Section 4.1 hereof, and credited to such Participant and (ii) cash held in the Plan pending investment in Common Stock for such Participant.
Account Shares. The term Account Shares shall mean all shares (including any fraction of a share) of Common Stock, consisting of Plan Book-Entry Shares, credited to and included in the Account of a Participant by the Administrator, that are (a) purchased through the Plan and/or (b) deposited by such Participant into the Plan pursuant to Section 4.1 hereof. Any references herein to shares of Common Stock deposited into the Plan or purchased through the Plan (through optional cash investments or reinvestment of Dividends, policy benefits or commissions) shall mean Plan Book-Entry Shares held in a Participants Account.
Administrator. The term Administrator shall mean Computershare Trust Company, N.A. Certain services will be provided by Computershare Inc., a registered transfer agent and an affiliate of the Administrator. In connection with the Plan, the Administrator shall be deemed an agent independent of the Company who satisfies applicable legal requirements (including, without limitation, the requirements of Regulation M under the Exchange Act), for purposes of making open market purchases and sales of Common Stock under the Plan.
Business Day. The term Business Day shall mean any day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, on which federally chartered banks in the State of New York are regularly open for business.
Certificated Shares. The term Certificated Shares shall mean any Common Stock for which a Participant has received and holds a certificate in the Participants name evidencing such shares.
Common Stock. The term Common Stock is defined in the Recitals of this Plan.
Company Share Purchase Price. The term Company Share Purchase Price, when used with respect to both whole and fractional shares, shall mean the weighted average price per share of all shares purchased for an Investment Date. Both whole and fractional shares purchased for an investment date will have the same purchase price.
DRS Book-Entry Shares. The term DRS Book-Entry Shares shall mean shares held in book-entry form in a Participants name through the Direct Registration System administered by The Depository Trust Company.
Dividend. The term Dividend shall mean cash dividends paid on Common Stock.
Enrollment Form. The term Enrollment Form shall mean the documentation that the Administrator and/or Company shall require to be completed and received prior to the enrollment in the Plan of an investor that is an existing registered owner of Common Stock pursuant to Section 2.1 hereof, or a Participants changing the Participants options under the Plan pursuant to Section 6.1 hereof, or a Participants depositing shares of Common Stock into the Plan pursuant to Section 4.1 hereof.
Exchange Act. The term Exchange Act shall mean the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the rules and regulations thereunder.
Initial Enrollment Form. The term Initial Enrollment Form shall mean the documentation that the Administrator and/or Company shall require to be completed and received prior to the enrollment in the Plan of an investor that is not an existing registered owner of Common Stock pursuant to Section 2.1 hereof. At the time of the initial enrollment in the Plan, the investors Enrollment Form shall contain a certification of its taxpayer identification number.
Irrevocable Stock Power. The term Irrevocable Stock Power shall mean the documentation which the Participant completes and submits to the Administrator prior to such Participants gift or transfer of Account Shares pursuant to Section 5.2 hereof.
IRS. The term IRS shall mean the Internal Revenue Service.
Investment Date. The term Investment Date shall mean each Trading Day on which the Administrator determines that sufficient optional cash investments pursuant to Section 2.4 hereof and/or initial cash investments pursuant to Section 2.3 hereof and/or Dividends and/or assigned benefits and commissions have been received and not previously invested to warrant investing such optional cash investments and/or initial cash investments and/or assigned benefits and commissions or reinvesting such Dividends in Common Stock pursuant to Article III hereof; provided, however, that there shall be at least one Investment Date for optional cash investments during each period beginning on Monday of each week and ending on Friday of the same week in which the Administrator receives at least one optional cash investment, one initial cash investment, any assigned benefits or commissions. The Investment Date for reinvesting Dividends shall be the Dividend payment date or the next Trading Day if the Dividend payment date is not a Trading Day.
Market Share Purchase Price. The term Market Share Purchase Price, when used with respect to shares of Common Stock purchased in the open market, shall mean the weighted average purchase price per share of the aggregate number of shares purchased in the open market for the associated Investment Date, not including any brokerage commissions or other Transaction Fees. However, Transaction Fees are deducted from the total investment amount, and the net amount remaining is invested.
Market Share Sales Price. The term Market Share Sales Price, when used with respect to shares of Common Stock sold in the open market, shall mean the weighted average sales price per share of the aggregate number of shares sold in the open market for the date any sale is made, not including any brokerage commissions or other Transaction Fees. However, Transaction Fees are deducted from the gross proceeds of sale, and the net amount remaining is paid out.
Maximum Amount. The term Maximum Amount is defined in Section 2.4 hereof.
Non-United States Resident. The term Non-United States Resident shall mean a Person that is a citizen or resident of, or is organized or incorporated under, or has its principal place of business in, a country other than the United States, its territories and possessions.
Participant. The term Participant is defined in Section 2.1 hereof.
Participants Total Position. The term Participants Total Position shall mean the total shares of Common Stock held by the Participant, whether evidenced by one or more certificates in the Participants name or held as DRS Book-Entry Shares or Plan Book-Entry Shares, as to which the Participant may designate that any Dividends on all, part or none of the number of such shares shall be reinvested in Common Stock to be held as Plan Book-Entry Shares in the Participants Account.
Person. The term Person shall mean any individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, association, joint-stock company, trust, estate, unincorporated organization or other entity.
Plan Book-Entry Shares. The term Plan Book-Entry Shares shall mean shares held in book-entry form, excluding DRS Book-Entry Shares, in a Participants name and in the Participants Account by the Administrator.
Statement of Account. The term Statement of Account shall mean a written statement prepared by the Administrator and sent to a Participant pursuant to Section 6.6 hereof, which sets forth all information required by this Plan or applicable law.
Trading Day. The term Trading Day shall mean any Business Day on which shares of the Common Stock are traded on the principal stock exchange, market, electronic quotation or over-the-counter system on which the Common Stock is listed or authorized for quotation or trading.
Section 2.1. Participation. Any Person (other than the Company), who (a) is a record holder of Common Stock, (b) is an employee of the Company or one of its subsidiaries, (c) is an applicant or owner of an insurance policy issued by the Company or one of its subsidiaries, (d) is a contracted independent consultant of the Company or one of its subsidiaries or (e) makes an unsolicited inquiry of the Administrator or the Company regarding the Plan, may elect to participate in the Plan; provided, however, that if such Person is a Non-United States Resident, he or she may be requested to provide evidence satisfactory to the Administrator that the Participants participation in the Plan would not violate local laws applicable to the Company, the Plan or such Non-United States Resident.
In order to participate in the Plan:
A Person that is a registered holder of Common Stock must complete and return to the Administrator an Enrollment Form.
A Person that is not a registered holder of Common Stock, must complete and return to the Administrator an Initial Enrollment Form and do at least one of the following:
(i) have Common Stock for which the Participant is not the registered owner transferred to the Plan, pursuant to Section 4.1 hereof,
(ii) make an initial cash investment pursuant to Section 2.3 hereof,
(iii) elect to have insurance benefits invested in Common Stock pursuant to Section 2.2 hereof; or
(iv) elect to have earned insurance commissions invested in Common Stock pursuant to Sections 2.3 and 2.4 below.
Any Person who has met the above requirements to participate in the Plan and has not revoked such election to participate in the Plan is herein referred to as a Participant.
Section 2.2. Reinvestment of Dividends. If and when the Company pays a cash Dividend on the Common Stock, a Participant may elect to have the Participants Dividends on all or a specified number of shares in the Participants Total Position invested in shares (including any fraction of a share) of Common Stock and credited to the Participants Account. The Dividends on the number of shares in the Participants Total Position that are not reinvested as provided above in this Section 2.2 will be paid to the Participant.
Section 2.3. Initial Investment. A Person who is not a registered owner of Common Stock may become a Participant by making an initial payment of at least $250 but not more than $120,000, by check or electronic funds transfer payable to the Administrator, to be invested in Common Stock pursuant to Section 3.2 hereof; provided, however, that payment for such initial cash investment must be accompanied by a completed Initial Enrollment Form. For persons who are owners of a policy of insurance issued by the company or one of its subsidiaries, or an independent consultant for the Company and its subsidiaries whose initial investment is made through an assignment of benefit or commission, no minimum shall apply. An initial cash investment in shares of Common Stock may be made in the name of any Person so specified in the Initial Enrollment Form.
Section 2.4. Optional Cash Investments. A Participant may elect to make payments at any time or from time to time to the Plan, by check or electronic funds transfer payable to the Administrator, for investment in Common Stock pursuant to Section 3.2 hereof; provided, however, that any Participant who elects to make optional cash investments pursuant to this Section 2.4 must invest at least $25 for any single investment and may not invest more than $120,000 in any calendar year (the Maximum Amount). For purposes of determining whether the Maximum Amount has been reached, initial cash investments pursuant to Section 2.3 shall be counted as optional cash investments. An optional cash investment in shares of Common Stock may be made in the name of any Person.
Section 2.5. Registration. All interests in Common Stock held in a Participants Account must be registered on the records of the Company in the name of such Participant.
DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT, INVESTMENT OF OPTIONAL CASH PAYMENTS,
ASSIGNED BENEFITS OR COMMISSIONS AND INITIAL CASH PAYMENTS AND
COMMON STOCK PURCHASES
Section 3.1. Dividend Reinvestment. Dividends (if and when paid by the Company) as to which reinvestment has been elected by a Participant shall be paid by the Company to the Administrator or its nominee on behalf of such Participant. Subject to this Article III, Dividends shall be reinvested in shares of Common Stock purchased in the open market in the manner provided in Section 3.3(a) hereof. No interest shall be paid on Dividends held pending reinvestment pursuant to this Article III.
Section 3.2. Investment of Optional Cash Payments, Assigned Policy Benefits and Commissions and Initial Cash Payments. Subject to this Article III, any optional cash investments, assigned policy benefits or commissions and initial cash investments received by the Administrator of the Plan from a Participant shall be invested in shares of Common Stock purchased in the open market in the manner provided in Section 3.3(b) hereof. Optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and initial cash investments not received by the Administrator at least two Business Days prior to an Investment Date need not be invested on such Investment Date; provided,
however, that any such optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and initial cash investments not invested on such Investment Date shall be invested beginning on the next succeeding Investment Date. No interest shall be paid on optional cash investments, assigned benefits, commissions or initial cash investments or assigned benefits or commissions held pending investment pursuant to this Article III.
Section 3.3. Shares Purchased in the Open Market.
(a) Reinvestment of Dividends in shares of Common Stock shall be governed by this Section 3.3(a). Beginning on an Investment Date for Dividends, the Administrator shall apply the amount of any Dividends paid to the Administrator on behalf of the Participants on such Investment Date to the purchase of shares of Common Stock in the open market.
(b) Investment of optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and/or initial cash investments in shares of Common Stock shall be governed by this Section 3.3(b). Beginning on each Investment Date for optional cash investments, the Administrator shall apply the amount of any optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and/or initial cash investments received by the Administrator from such Participant since the preceding Investment Date (excluding any amounts received from such Participant within two Business Days of such Investment Date but including any amounts received from such Participant within two Business Days prior to the preceding Investment Date as set forth in Section 3.2 hereof), to the purchase of shares of Common Stock in the open market.
Purchases in the open market pursuant to this Section 3.3 may begin on the applicable Investment Date and shall be completed (i) in the case of Dividends being reinvested, no later than 30 days from the date the Administrator received such Dividends and (ii) in the case of optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and/or initial cash investments being invested, no later than 35 days from the date the Administrator received such investments. Any funds not so invested during the relevant period shall promptly be paid, without interest, to the relevant Participants.
Open market purchases pursuant to this Section 3.3 may be made in ordinary brokerage transactions on any securities exchange on which the Common Stock is traded, in the over-the-counter market, or by negotiated transactions and may be upon such terms and subject to such conditions with respect to price and delivery to which the Administrator may agree and that, in the case of optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions or initial cash investments, are not inconsistent with the relevant Participants instructions. With regard to open market purchases of shares of Common Stock pursuant to this Section 3.3, neither the Company nor any Affiliate of the Company may exercise any direct or indirect control or influence over the time or price at which shares of Common Stock may be purchased, the number of shares purchased, the manner in which purchases are effected, the selection of any broker or dealer who effects purchases (provided that no such broker or dealer may be an Affiliate of the Company), or the markets on which such shares are to be purchased (including on any securities exchange, in the over-the-counter market or in negotiated transactions), except that the timing of such purchases must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Plan. A Participant shall not have any authority or power to direct the time or price at which shares of Common Stock may be purchased, the number of shares purchased, the manner in which purchases are effected, the selection of any broker or dealer who effects purchases (provided that no such broker or dealer may be an Affiliate of the Company), or the markets on which such shares are to be purchased (including on any securities exchange, in the over-the-counter market or in negotiated transactions), except that the timing of such purchases must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Plan. For the purpose of
making or causing to be made purchases of shares of Common Stock pursuant to this Section 3.3, the Administrator shall be entitled to commingle each Participants funds with those of all other Participants. The number of shares (and/or fraction of a share rounded to four decimal places) of Common Stock that shall be credited to a Participants Account with respect to an Investment Date to which this Section 3.3 applies shall be equal to (i) the sum of (A) the amount of any Dividends reinvested on any such Investment Date for such Participants Account and/or (B) the amount of any optional cash investments, assigned benefits or commissions and/or initial cash investments received by the Administrator from such Participant since the preceding Investment Date (excluding any amount received from such Participant within two Business Days of such Investment Date but including any amounts received from such Participant within two Business Days prior to the preceding Investment Date that were not invested on the preceding Investment Date as set forth in Section 3.2 hereof), less any amounts which the Participant is obligated to pay, divided by (ii) the Market Share Purchase Price with respect to such Investment Date. Such shares shall be registered directly on the stock records of the Company in the name of the Participant.
Section 3.4. Purchases Made for Owners of Insurance Policies. The Company may void Common Stock purchases under the Plan in the event valid consideration is or was not received in connection with the purchase of shares by the participant. In such event, the Company will void the share issuance by instructing the Transfer Agent and giving notice to Participant. Upon receipt of a written instruction from the Company, the Administrator will debit such shares from the Participants plan account. The Administrator shall not be liable for any loss or damage that may result from its acting in accordance with the Companys written instruction as set forth in this Section. Each such Participant will receive a notice in writing of such debit with a statement of the reason for the applicable shares being voided.
DEPOSITED COMMON STOCK OR OTHER ELIGIBLE SECURITIES
Section 4.1. Deposited Common Stock. A Participant may elect to (a) have certificates in the Participants name representing shares of Common Stock of which the Participant is the record holder deposited into the Plan by completing an Enrollment Form, if required by Section 2.1 hereof, and delivering such certificates (and, if required, Enrollment Form) to the Administrator or (b) have shares of Common Stock, of which the Participant is the beneficial owner, deposited into the Plan by completing an Enrollment Form, if required by Section 2.1 hereof, and authorizing the record holder to transfer such shares to the name of such Participant. Shares of Common Stock so deposited shall be maintained and registered in the name of the depositing Participant and credited to such Participants Account.
Section 4.2. Withdrawal of Common Stock Deposited Pursuant to Section 4.1. Shares of Common Stock deposited pursuant to Section 4.1 hereof may be withdrawn from the Plan pursuant to Section 6.2 hereof.
SALE OF ACCOUNT SHARES; GIFT OR TRANSFER OF ACCOUNT SHARES
Section 5.1. Sale of Account Shares. A Participant may request, at any time, that all or a portion of the Participants Account Shares be sold by notifying the Administrator to that effect. Subject to this Section 5.1, the Administrator shall make such sales as soon as practicable (in accordance with stock transfer requirements and federal and state securities laws), but in no event later than five (5) Business Days, after receiving such sale instructions. As soon as practicable following the receipt of proceeds from such sale, the Administrator shall pay to such Participant an amount equal to the difference between (i) the product of (a) the Market Share Sales Price and (b) the number of the Participants Account Shares sold and (ii) any amounts which the Participant is obligated to pay.
If instructions for the sale of all Account Shares for a Participant that has elected to have Dividends reinvested, in conjunction with such Participants termination from the Plan, are received by the Administrator near the record date but before the related payment date for any Dividend thereon, the sale shall be processed as described above, and the Administrator shall as soon as practicable following the receipt of the Dividends, and in its sole discretion, may either pay such Dividends to such Participant or reinvest such Dividends in shares on behalf of the Participant. In the event reinvestment is made, the Administrator will process the Participants termination as soon as practicable, but in no event later than five business days after the investment is completed.
Open market sales of Account Shares pursuant to this Section 5.1 may be made in ordinary brokerage transactions on any securities exchange on which such Account Shares are traded, in the over-the-counter market or in negotiated transactions and may be on such terms and subject to such conditions with respect to price and delivery to which the Administrator may agree. With regard to open market sales of Account Shares pursuant to this Section 5.1, neither the Company nor any Affiliate of the Company may exercise any direct or indirect control or influence over time or price at which Account Shares may be sold, the number of shares sold, the manner in which sales are effected, the selection of any broker or dealer who effects sales (provided that no such broker or dealer may be an Affiliate of the Company), or the markets on which such Account Shares are to be sold (including on any securities exchange, in the
over-the-counter market or in negotiated transactions), except that the timing of such sales must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Plan. A Participant shall not have any authority or power to direct the time or price at which Account Shares may be sold, the number of shares sold, the manner in which sales are effected, the selection of any broker or dealer who effects sales (provided that no such broker or dealer may be an Affiliate of the Company), or the markets on which such Account Shares are to be sold (including on any securities exchange, in the over-the-counter market or in negotiated transactions), except that the timing of such sales must be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Plan. For the purpose of making or causing to be made sales of Account Shares pursuant to this Section 5.1, the Administrator shall be entitled to aggregate sale orders of each Participants Account Shares with those of all other Participants.
Section 5.2. Gift or Transfer of Account Shares. A Participant may, at any time, elect to transfer (whether by gift, private sale or otherwise) ownership of all or a portion of the Participants Account Shares to the Account of another Participant or establish an Account for a Person not already a Participant by delivering to the Administrator a completed Irrevocable Stock Power to that effect designating the transferee(s), with the signature thereon guaranteed by a Person that is a member of the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program, Stock Exchanges Medallion Program, American Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Program or any other signature guarantee program generally recognized by the securities transfer industry which is acceptable to the Administrator, and an Enrollment Form, if applicable.
Account Shares (including fractional shares) transferred in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall be registered directly on the stock records of the Company in the name of the transferee and shall be credited to the transferees Account. If the transferee is already a Participant, Dividends on such transferred Account Shares shall be reinvested in shares of Common Stock under the Plan consistent with the transferees reinvestment election level (i.e., full, partial or none) then in effect. If the transferee is not already a Participant, the Administrator shall automatically enroll the transferee in the Plan and open an Account in the name of such transferee if the transferor, at the time the gift is made, makes a dividend reinvestment election on behalf of the transferee. The transferee may change such reinvestment level after the gift has been made. If the transferee notifies the Administrator that it does not wish to be a Participant, such notice shall be deemed a request to terminate participation in the Plan pursuant to Section 6.3 hereof.
If a completed Irrevocable Stock Power (evidencing a transfer of ownership by gift, private sale or otherwise) with regard to Account Shares and other required documentation are received by the Administrator after the record date but before the related payment date for any Dividend thereon, the Irrevocable Stock Power shall be processed as described above, and the Administrator shall as soon as practicable following the receipt of the Dividends paid on such Account Shares, reinvest or pay such dividends to the transferor in accordance with the transferors reinvestment election.
Section 5.3. Reinvestment of Dividends on Remaining Shares. If a Participant has elected to have the Dividends (in the event cash dividends are paid) on only a portion of the number of shares comprising the Participants Total Position reinvested pursuant to Section 2.2 hereof, and, due to transactions in shares of the Participants Common Stock, the Participant comes to own less than the number of shares in the Participants Total Position for which reinvestment of Dividends has been elected, then in such case, any such Dividends on such lesser number of shares shall be reinvested absent contrary instructions from the Participant.
TREATMENT OF ACCOUNTS
Section 6.1. Changing Plan Options. A Participant may elect to change the Participants Plan options, including changing the number of shares (i.e., full, partial or none) of the Participants Total Position as to which Dividends will be reinvested, by delivering to the Administrator instructions or a new Enrollment Form to that effect. To be effective with respect to any Dividend payment, the instructions or Enrollment Form with respect to such Account Shares for which reinvestment has been elected must be received by the Administrator at least prior to the related record date. If the instructions or Enrollment Form are not received by the Administrator prior to the record date relating to such Dividend, the change may not become effective until after such record date.
Section 6.2. Right of Withdrawal. A Participant may, at any time or from time to time, withdraw from the Plan all or any part (other than fractions) of the Participants Account Shares by notifying the Administrator to that effect. Fractional shares may only be withdrawn in connection with a transfer to the Account of a Participant or a Person who becomes a Participant in accordance with Section 5.2 hereof or a termination of participation in the Plan in accordance with Section 6.3 hereof.
Withdrawal of Account Shares shall not affect reinvestment of Dividends, as provided in Section 2.2 and other applicable provisions herein, on the number of Account Shares withdrawn unless (i) the Participant is no longer the record holder of such Account Shares, (ii) such reinvestment election is changed by the Participant by delivering to the Administrator instructions or an Enrollment Form to that effect pursuant to Section 6.1 hereof or (iii) the Participant has terminated the Participants participation in the Plan.
Section 6.3. Right of Termination of Participation. A Participant may indicate the Participants desire to terminate the Participants participation in the Plan by notifying the Administrator to that effect. The Administrator shall treat such request as a withdrawal of all of such Participants Account Shares pursuant to Section 6.2 hereof. The Administrator will withdraw all whole Account Shares from the Account of the Participant and continue to hold such shares in book-entry form under the Direct Registration System unless the Participant has requested the issuance of one or more stock certificates for, or the sale of, all or part of such shares. The Administrator will mail any such stock certificates to the Participant. In all cases of a Participants termination from the Plan, the Administrator, pursuant to Section 6.2 hereof, shall pay to the Participant an amount equal to the cash value of any fraction of a share credited to the Participants Account. Such fraction of a share shall be valued at the then current market price of the Common Stock. The Administrator shall mail such certificate, if applicable, and payment to the withdrawing Participant promptly after its receipt of such notification.
Section 6.4. Stock Splits, Stock Dividends and Rights Offerings. Any shares or other securities issued by the Company representing stock splits or other noncash distributions of Common Stock on Account Shares shall be registered directly in the Participants name on the stock records of the Company and credited to such Participants Account. Stock splits, combinations, recapitalizations and similar events affecting the Common Stock shall, as to shares credited to Accounts of Participants, be credited to such Accounts on a pro rata basis, and the number of Account Shares as to which the Participant has elected to reinvest any Dividends shall likewise be proportionately adjusted in such event.
In the event of a rights offering, a Participant shall receive rights based upon the total number of whole shares credited to the Participants Account. If any such rights are redeemed by the Company for cash, such cash shall be reinvested to the same extent as if it were a Dividend.
Section 6.5. Stockholder Materials; Voting Rights. The Company shall send or forward to each Participant all applicable proxy solicitation materials, other stockholder materials or consent solicitation materials. Participants shall have the exclusive right to exercise all voting rights respecting Account Shares credited to their respective Accounts. A Participant may vote any of the Participants whole or fractional Account Shares of which he or she is the record holder in person or by proxy. A Participants proxy card shall include the Participants whole or fractional Account Shares and shares of Common Stock which have the right to vote of which he or she is the record holder. Account Shares shall not be voted unless a Participant or the Participants proxy votes them. Unless the Participant notifies the Company in writing that it elects to withhold the Administrators authority, the Administrator is deemed to have the written authorization to appear in person or by proxy at any annual or special meeting of shareholders of the Company and to submit the Participants unvoted shares at the meeting for the sole purpose of determining a quorum.
Solicitation of the exercise of Participants voting rights by the management of the Company or others under a proxy or consent provision applicable to all holders of Common Stock shall be permitted. Solicitation of the exercise of Participants tender or exchange offer rights by management of the Company or others shall also be permitted.
Section 6.6. Statements of Account. At least once during each calendar year, the Administrator shall send to each Participant a Statement of Account. The Administrator shall send additional Statements of Account to a Participant upon the reasonable request therefore by such Participant.
CERTIFICATES AND FRACTIONS OF SHARES
Section 7.1. Certificates. A Participant may, at any time or from time to time, request to receive a certificate for all or a portion of his whole Account Shares and upon such request the Administrator shall promptly (and, in any event, within two Business Days of the receipt of such request) mail such a certificate to such Participant. Unless otherwise requested by the Participant, notwithstanding the issuance of such a certificate, the Participant will continue to have any Dividends reinvested in Common Stock on the same number of shares in the Participants Total Position as previously designated by the Participant.
Section 7.2. Fractional Shares. Fractions of shares of Common Stock shall be credited to Accounts; provided, however, that no certificate for a fraction of a share shall be distributed to any Participant at any time.
CONCERNING THE PLAN
Section 8.1. Suspension, Modification and Termination. The Company may by written notice to the Administrator and each affected Participant at any time and from time to time, at its sole option, (a) suspend or terminate the Plan and (b) modify or amend the Plan including to (i) permit Dividends on Common Stock to be reinvested in shares of Common Stock purchased in the open market if a Participant so desires (including permitting a reinvestment pertaining only to a portion of the number of shares comprising the Participants Total Position, with the balance in cash, or the entire position), (ii) permit the Company to process payroll deductions for employees who are Participants, (iii) determine the extent to which the Company would pay the fees, costs and expenses of the Administrator, (iv) determine whether Account Shares will be certificated routinely or only on a Participants request or (v) increase or decrease the minimum amounts of initial cash investments pursuant to Section 2.3 or optional cash investments pursuant to Section 2.4 or to establish a maximum amount therefore. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no such modification or amendment shall decrease the Account of any Participant or result in a distribution to the Company of any amount credited to the Account of any Participant; and provided, further, that no such modification or amendment shall affect the rights, duties or obligations of the Administrator without its prior written consent. Upon complete termination of the Plan, the Accounts of all Participants (or in the case of partial termination of the Plan, the Accounts of all affected Participants) shall be treated as if each such Participant had elected to terminate his participation in the Plan pursuant to Section 6.3 hereof, except that any fraction of a share shall be valued as of the trading date immediately preceding the date on which the Plan is terminated. The Company shall promptly provide to the Administrator funds for payment to Participants in respect of a fractional share of Common Stock.
Section 8.2. Rules and Regulations. The Administrator may from time to time adopt such administrative rules and regulations concerning the Plan as it deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan. The Administrator shall have the power and authority to interpret the terms and the provisions of the Plan and shall interpret and construe the Plan and reconcile any inconsistency or supply any omitted detail in a manner consistent with the general terms of the Plan and applicable law.
Section 8.3. Termination of a Participant. If a Participant does not have at least one whole Account Share, as determined by the Administrator from time to time, the Participants participation in the Plan may be terminated by the Administrator upon written notice mailed to such Participant at the Participants address of record. Upon such termination, the Account of such Participant shall be treated as if he or she had elected to terminate the Participants participation in the Plan pursuant to Section 6.3 hereof, except that any fraction of a share shall be valued as of the trading date immediately preceding the date on which such Participants participation is terminated. The Company shall promptly provide to the Administrator funds for payment to Participants in respect of a fractional share of Common Stock.
Section 8.4. Cash Pending Investment. Dividends, optional cash investments, initial cash investments, policy owner benefits (including dividends) and marketing force commissions held pending investment in Common Stock pursuant to the Plan shall be held by the Administrator in a non-interest bearing account segregated from any other funds or monies of the Company or the Administrator.
Section 8.5. Notices and Payments. All notices, communications and other items (including Statements of Account, transaction notices and certificates) to be given or sent to a Participant may be mailed to such Participant by first class mail (or at the Administrators option, by registered or certified mail), postage prepaid, addressed to such Participants address of record. Any payment due to a Participant under the Plan may be made by check mailed to such Participant in accordance with the preceding sentence.
Section 8.6. Tax Payments. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the Administrator shall, to the extent required under applicable federal law, (i) deduct and withhold federal tax required to be deducted or withheld, if any, from dividends credited to a Participants Account (whether or not reinvested), from the proceeds of the sale of shares or rights or from other payments made under the Plan and (ii) prepare and file with the IRS and with Participants information returns reporting payments and sales made under the Plan and taxes withheld therefrom.
Section 10.1. Registration Statement and Prospectus. The Company shall, at its expense, prepare a registration statement to be filed with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933 and a prospectus thereof describing in plain and factual tone and approach the Plan in its generalized form, including all material features, contractual terms and fee and processing arrangements. Such prospectus shall include a prominent statement on the cover to the effect that the services under the Plan are sponsored by the Company and administered by the Administrator, will indicate that the shares of Common Stock held in Accounts for Participants are not subject to protection under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, as amended, and will inform recipients that they must make independent investment decisions based on their own judgment and research. A copy of the Plan may be included as part of the prospectus. The prospectus may not (a) encourage any Person to engage in any particular transactions, whether purchases or sales, (b) include any advice or recommendations or (c) contain any information not expressly permitted by this Section 10.1. Along with the prospectus, the Company may distribute to policy applicants, policy owners, independent consultants, stockholders or employees of the Company a letter accompanying the prospectus which briefly references the Plan and refers such policy applicants, policy owners, independent consultants, stockholders or employees to the prospectus for additional information. The prospectus may be forwarded to persons who are not members of one of the above-described groups only upon request.
Section 10.2. Other Promotional Activities.
(a) The Administrator may not place any paid advertisements relating to the Plan. The Administrator may issue press releases announcing the Plan generally and may include brief descriptive summaries of transfer agent and Plan services in industry publications. Any such release or summary may describe briefly and generally the mix of Plan features, but may not identify the Company. In addition, the Administrator may make appearances at industry conferences to discuss transfer agent industry initiatives, including the features available under the Plan. In providing information under the Plan, the Administrator may not offer any advice or recommendations regarding participation in the Plan or suggest that any Person use the Plan or effect any securities transactions. The Company may make brief reference to the existence of the Plan in annual and quarterly corporate reports, but will otherwise not communicate about the Plan except as may become necessary in special circumstances to fulfill the Companys disclosure responsibilities.
(b) The Administrator may respond to inquiries concerning the Plan (including inquiries regarding the Companys securities generally which are not specifically directed at the Plan) including unsolicited inquiries initiated by Persons who are not, at the time of the inquiry, policy applicants, policy owners, independent consultants, stockholders or employees of the Company. In responding to such inquiries, the Administrator will not identify Common Stock except as requested by the inquiries, and then only as necessary to be responsive to the specific inquiry. The Administrator may, in compliance with the terms of the Plan and any applicable securities laws, in response to inquiries it receives regarding its securities generally which are not specifically directed at the Plan, include any prospectus and/or other materials (or any information contained therein) as part of such response.
The Company shall refer all non-ministerial inquiries it receives regarding the Plan to the Administrator.
(c) Without limiting any provision of the Plan or the Companys ability to distribute a prospectus to policy applicants, policy owners, independent consultants, stockholders or employees of the Company, neither the Administrator nor the Company will engage in any special selling efforts within the meaning of Regulation M promulgated under the Exchange Act through the operation of the Plan or in connection with making information publicly available about the Plan.
Section 11.1. Controlling Law. This Plan shall be construed, regulated and administered under the laws of the State of New York without regard to conflicts of laws principles.
Section 11.2. Acceptance of Terms and Conditions of Plan by Participants. Each Participant, as a condition of participation herein, for himself or herself, the Participants heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives and assigns, approves and agrees to be bound by the provisions of this Plan and any subsequent amendments hereto, and all actions of the Company and the Administrator hereunder.
Section 11.3. Companys Role. Except as expressly set forth in the Plan, and for processing payroll deductions and assigned benefits and commissions to the extent policy applicants, policy owners, independent consultants, stockholders or employees of the Company participate in the Plan, the Company will have no role in the administration or the processing of any transaction under the Plan. Without limiting any other provisions of the Plan, neither the Company nor its Affiliates may (a) make any bids, purchases, offers or sales for or of Common Stock under the Plan or (b) supply the Administrator or any broker or dealer executing purchases with Common Stock for purchase by Participants through the Plan. If the Company receives any optional cash investments or initial cash investments or assigned benefits or commissions which are intended to be invested pursuant to Article III hereof, it shall promptly transmit the funds so received to the Administrator, following the completion of its source of funds verification in accordance with its Anti-Money Laundering policies and procedures.
TABLE OF TRANSACTION TYPES, MINIMUM/MAXIMUM INVESTMENT
AMOUNTS, AND SERVICE AND TRADING FEES
TRANSACTION AND FEE TABLE
This Transaction and Fee Table describes the fees applicable to transactions and services under the Plan and includes any minimum and maximum investment amounts under the Plan.
Trading Fees (See
Notes 1, 2 and 3)
Enrollment by non-stockholder (deducted from the first investment in the Plan)
Initial Investment (via check)
per calendar year*
Initial Investment (via one-time online bank debit)
per calendar year*
Initial Investment (via periodic automatic deduction)**
per calendar year*
Optional Cash Investment (via check)
per calendar year*
Optional Cash Investment (via one-time online bank debit)
per calendar year*
Optional Cash Investment (via periodic automatic deduction)
per calendar year*
Batch Order Sale of Shares
|N/A||N/A||Up to $15.00 plus|
Market Order Sale of Shares
Sale of a Fractional Share at Termination or Withdrawal
|N/A||N/A||Service and per share trading|
fees are paid by us on your
Returned Check or Failed Electronic Payment Fee***
|1.||All per share trading fees include the applicable brokerage commissions the Plan Administrator is required to pay. Applicable per share trading fees may be rounded up to the nearest whole share amount if fractional shares are held.|
|2.||All fees will be deducted from the funds to be invested or from the sales proceeds.|
|3.||The Internal Revenue Service may require that any per share trading fees incurred in the purchase of shares, paid by us on your behalf, be treated as dividend income to you and that such amounts paid for per share trading fees can be included in your cost basis of shares purchased.|
|*||For the purposes of applying this limit, all investments, including optional cash investments and initial investments, but excluding dividend reinvestments, will be aggregated.|
|**||Participation in the Plan by initial investment through periodic automatic deductions requires that you agree to continue the deductions for a minimum of ten (10) consecutive months or until the amount invested reaches $250.00.|
|***||If the investment is applied to purchase shares before the check or attempted automatic deduction from your bank account is rejected, your purchased shares will be sold and certain fees will be charged against the value of the shares in your account.|
30,000,000 shares of Class A Common Stock
April 30, 2018