Moody's lowers rating but retains Thrivent Financial's "excellent" status
|MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 23, 2004) – Moody’s Investors Service, a leading insurance ratings agency, has downgraded Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Aa1 (“excellent”) rating,* the second highest an organization can receive among Moody’s scale of 21 ratings, to Aa2 (“excellent”), its third highest rating. The rating returns Thrivent Financial to the rating its predecessor organizations – Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood – had received from Moody’s prior to their merger in 2002 to create Thrivent Financial.
“We are disappointed because we believe all things are moving in the right direction—our capital position has significantly improved, 2004 sales are up 4 percent over 2003 and we will exceed our 2004 sales plan. Momentum is clearly on our side,” said Randy Boushek, chief financial officer and senior vice president at Thrivent Financial. “Thrivent Financial has met or exceeded its goals related to sales and financial performance over the last two years and is in excellent financial condition and well positioned to meet obligations to our membership. This decision appears to be the result of Moody’s raising the bar for Aa1 companies rather than a reflection on our recent financial performance.”
Moody’s cited a more difficult external environment than anticipated during the merger, a longer than anticipated integration process, and lower 2003 sales due to the combination of two agency sales channels as factors for the downgrade. However, Moody’s also recognized Thrivent Financial’s improving capital levels in 2004 and the completion of the merger integration process. Moody’s believes that Thrivent Financial will benefit over the longer term from the merger.
Thrivent Financial maintains high ratings from other agencies including A.M Best’s A++ (Superior), the highest rating of 15, and Fitch Ratings’s AA+ (Very Strong), the second-highest of 24.
* This rating does not apply to the investment performance of Thrivent Financial investment products. Securities offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, 55415-1665, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Member NASD. Member SIPC.
About Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit Fortune 500 financial services organization helping nearly three million members achieve their financial goals. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates offer a broad range of financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, disability income insurance, bank products and more. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates have $65.9 billion (Sept. 30, 2004) in assets under management. As a not-for-profit organization, Thrivent Financial sponsors national outreach programs and activities that support congregations, schools, charitable organizations and needy individuals. For more information, visit www.thrivent.com.