Form 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

 

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to             

Commission file number 001-32195

 

 

LOGO

GENWORTH FINANCIAL, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   33-1073076

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

6620 West Broad Street

Richmond, Virginia

  23230
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

(804) 281-6000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Class A Common Stock, par value $.001 per share   New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:

5.25% Series A Cumulative Preferred Stock, Liquidation Preference $50 per share

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer  x    Accelerated filer  ¨    Non-accelerated filer  ¨    Smaller reporting company  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No  x

As of February 16, 2010, 489,073,134 shares of Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share were outstanding.

The aggregate market value of the common equity (based on the closing price of the Class A Common Stock on The New York Stock Exchange) held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2009, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $3.0 billion. All executive officers and directors of the registrant have been deemed, solely for the purpose of the foregoing calculation, to be “affiliates” of the registrant.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with the 2010 annual meeting of the registrant’s stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

          Page

PART I

  

Item 1.

  

Business

   4

Item 1A.

  

Risk Factors

   50

Item 1B.

  

Unresolved Staff Comments

   75

Item 2.

  

Properties

   75

Item 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

   75

Item 4.

  

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

   77

PART II

     

Item 5.

  

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

   78

Item 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

   80

Item 7.

  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

   83

Item 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

   172

Item 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

   176

Item 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

   274

Item 9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

   274

Item 9B.

  

Other Information

   276

PART III

     

Item 10.

  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

   277

Item 11.

  

Executive Compensation

   281

Item 12.

  

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

   282

Item 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

   282

Item 14.

  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

   282

PART IV

     

Item 15.

  

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

   283

 

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for our future business and financial performance. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially due to global political, economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors and risks, including the items identified under “Item 1A—Risk Factors.”

We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

 

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PART I

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, “Genworth,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Genworth Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

 

Item 1. Business

Overview

Genworth Financial, Inc. is a leading financial security company dedicated to providing insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions to more than 15 million customers, with a presence in more than 25 countries. Genworth was incorporated in Delaware in 2003 in preparation for an initial public offering of Genworth common stock, which was completed on May 28, 2004 (“IPO”). We are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and have approximately 6,000 employees.

As a financial security company, we are dedicated to helping meet the life security, retirement security, wealth management and homeownership needs of our customers. Our life security offerings protect people during unexpected events. These life security products and services include our payment protection coverages in Europe, Canada and Mexico, and in the U.S., term and universal life insurance, as well as care coordination and wellness services. We help people achieve financial goals and independence by providing retirement security offerings. In the U.S., retirement security products include various types of annuity and guaranteed retirement income products, as well as individual and group long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance. We help individuals accumulate and build wealth for financial security in the U.S. with our wealth management products that include financial planning services and managed accounts. We enable homeownership in the U.S. and internationally by providing mortgage insurance products that allow people to purchase homes with low down payments while protecting lenders against the risk of default. Through our homeownership education and assistance programs, we also help people keep their homes when they experience financial difficulties. Across all of our businesses, we differentiate through product innovation and by providing valued services such as education and training, wellness programs, support services and technology linked to our insurance, investment and financial products that address both consumer and distributor needs. In doing so, we strive to be easy to do business with and help our business partners grow more effectively.

Our products and services are designed to help consumers meet key financial security needs. Our primary products and related services are targeted at markets that are benefiting from significant demographic, legislative and market trends, including the aging population across the countries in which we operate, and the growing reality that responsibility for building financial security resides primarily with the individual. We distribute our products and services through diversified channels that include financial intermediaries, advisors, independent distributors, affinity groups and dedicated sales specialists. We are committed to our distribution partners and policyholders and continue to invest in key distribution relationships, product innovation and service capabilities.

As of December 31, 2009, we had the following operating segments:

 

   

Retirement and Protection. We offer and manage a variety of protection, wealth management and retirement income products. Our primary protection products include: life, long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance. Additionally, we offer other senior supplemental products, as well as care coordination services for our long-term care policyholders. Our wealth management and retirement income products include: a variety of managed account programs and advisor services, financial planning services, fixed and variable deferred and immediate individual annuities and group variable annuities offered through retirement plans. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our Retirement and Protection segment’s net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $60 million while net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $424 million.

 

   

International. We are a leading provider of mortgage insurance products in Canada, Australia, Mexico and multiple European countries. Our products predominately insure prime-based, individually

 

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underwritten residential mortgage loans, also known as flow mortgage insurance. On a limited basis, we also provide mortgage insurance on a structured, or bulk, basis that aids in the sale of mortgages to the capital markets and helps lenders manage capital and risk. Additionally, we offer services, analytical tools and technology that enable lenders to operate efficiently and manage risk. We also offer payment protection coverages in multiple European countries, Canada and Mexico. Our lifestyle protection insurance products help consumers meet specified payment obligations should they become unable to pay due to accident, illness, involuntary unemployment, disability or death. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our International segment’s net income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders were $380 million and $385 million, respectively.

 

   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance. In the U.S., we offer mortgage insurance products predominantly insuring prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans, also known as flow mortgage insurance. We selectively provide mortgage insurance on a structured, or bulk, basis with essentially all of our bulk writings prime-based. Additionally, we offer services, analytical tools and technology that enable lenders to operate efficiently and manage risk. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment’s net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders were $427 million and $459 million, respectively.

We also have Corporate and Other activities which include debt financing expenses that are incurred at our holding company level, unallocated corporate income and expenses, eliminations of inter-segment transactions and the results of non-core businesses and non-strategic products that are managed outside of our operating segments. Our non-strategic products include our institutional and corporate-owned life insurance products. Institutional products consist of: funding agreements, funding agreements backing notes (“FABNs”) and guaranteed investment contracts (“GICs”). For the year ended December 31, 2009, Corporate and Other activities had a net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and a net operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $353 million and $152 million, respectively.

On a consolidated basis, we had $12.3 billion of total Genworth Financial, Inc.’s stockholders’ equity and $108.2 billion of total assets as of December 31, 2009. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our revenues were $9.1 billion and we had a net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $460 million.

As of February 25, 2010, our principal U.S. life insurance companies had financial strength ratings of “A” (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), “A2” (Good) from Moody’s Investors Service Inc. (“Moody’s”), “A” (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc. (“A.M. Best”) and “A-” (Strong) from Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”). Our rated U.S. mortgage insurance companies had financial strength ratings of “BBB-” (Good) from S&P and “Baa2” (Adequate) from Moody’s. Our Canadian mortgage insurance company was rated “AA” (Superior) from Dominion Bond Rating Service (“DBRS”) and “AA-” (Very Strong) from S&P, our Australian mortgage insurance company was rated “AA-” (Very Strong) from S&P and “A1” (Good) from Moody’s and our principal European lifestyle protection insurance companies are rated “A-” (Strong) by S&P.

Positioning for the Future

We offer a variety of products and services that meet consumers’ financial security needs at various stages of their lives but concentrate our focus on those products and services where we have leadership positions or can differentiate based on: product innovation and value; risk expertise; distribution strength; service effectiveness or cost efficiency. Consistent with this strategy, we have concentrated our product and service offerings in our life insurance, long-term care insurance, wealth management, lifestyle protection insurance and mortgage insurance businesses. We also selectively target certain annuity and supplemental protection product offerings. This approach is designed to help us achieve growth and create stockholder value through pursuit of the following key initiatives:

 

   

Drive new business with improved profitability. As we focus on our leadership businesses, we continue to concentrate on market segments that we see as most attractive and that best fit with our

 

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strengths, profitability targets and risk tolerance. We strive to maintain appropriate return and risk thresholds in our product offerings through pricing actions and changes in product design or distribution structures, as well as new product introductions. We expect our tightened underwriting guidelines will contribute to improved profitability going forward.

 

   

Optimize investment portfolio performance. We have restructured our investment portfolio to help protect against the potential impact of a prolonged recession or slow economic recovery, including the exit of riskier investments. We have a disciplined asset-liability management process that enables us to manage our assets and liabilities effectively. We reduced exposures in several major asset classes, including the financial sectors, and exited selected investments in limited partnerships. We have a diversified investment portfolio and have shifted certain investments towards industries that we believe will be less impacted by economic cycles, such as utilities. We continue to identify and limit certain exposure levels to maintain or achieve desired diversification. We have begun reinvesting the substantial cash balances we maintained through the uncertain market conditions that began in 2008 and continued into early 2009 to enhance investment income and yields. We also pursue selected portfolio hedging strategies to enhance returns.

 

   

Continue active risk management and loss mitigation. We seek to adapt to changes and proactively manage risk as it relates to our businesses. We have reviewed our pricing and product designs, as well as our underwriting guidelines, and made adjustments as necessary. In 2009, we re-priced products in our lifestyle protection and U.S. mortgage insurance businesses, as well as in certain of our international mortgage insurance markets. We have taken steps to improve our distribution arrangements and refine our products and target markets in our lifestyle protection insurance business. We have reduced our mortgage insurance risk in-force in Europe which has been primarily driven by reductions in Spain. We maintain active loss mitigation efforts in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, including pursuit of appropriate loan modifications, investigating loans for underwriting and master policy compliance, and where appropriate, execute loan rescissions or selected settlements. Additionally, we pursue targeted loss mitigation strategies in mortgage insurance markets outside the U.S.

 

   

Execute effective capital management and capital deployment. We pursue capital management strategies to support the capitalization and targeted ratings for our insurance companies and holding company. Our objective is to maintain adequate levels of capital in the event of unforeseen events, while still meeting our targeted goals. In 2009, we raised new capital through a public offering of our common stock for net proceeds of $622 million and the initial public offering of our Canadian mortgage insurance business for gross proceeds of approximately $820 million. We have introduced new products that are more capital efficient. We have achieved the generation of statutory capital from profit emergence on our in-force business, as well as from ongoing capital management and efficiency strategies such as use of reinsurance, management of new business levels and cost reductions. In addition, we continue to evaluate opportunities to redeploy capital from lower returning blocks of business.

Growth Strategies

Our objectives are to increase revenues and operating income, as well as enhance returns on equity. Our plans to do this are based on the following strategies in each of our segments:

 

   

Retirement and Protection. Our strategy is centered around life insurance, long-term care insurance and independent advisor wealth management offerings, with a more targeted focus on annuities, Medicare supplement insurance and other senior supplemental offerings. We are committed to providing competitively-priced life insurance products that give consumers greater flexibility. In 2009, we introduced a new term universal life insurance product that is designed to replace our existing term life insurance products and offers death benefit guarantee premiums and a similar value proposition to traditional term life insurance but offers flexibility associated with universal life coverage. This new

 

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product is designed to reduce capital requirements and limit financing costs associated with existing term life insurance products. We continue to focus on growth in our long-term care insurance business, as well as leverage our leadership in long-term care insurance to expand related product lines and services. These include products that combine coverages such as life insurance or annuity products with long-term care insurance to provide consumers with greater flexibility. We are committed to growing our wealth management business and selectively target our annuity product lines. We will distribute annuity offerings through channels, distributors and advisors with greatest growth opportunities and that are most clearly aligned with our strategic objectives and risk appetite.

 

   

International. We are growing our international businesses within geographies that have attractive market and regulatory conditions for profitable growth, while managing economic, product and underwriting risks. We have established international mortgage insurance platforms in Canada, Australia, Europe and Mexico and intend to operate them in a disciplined fashion with an ongoing focus on risk management. Our entry and growth in developing international mortgage insurance markets will be selective. In our lifestyle protection insurance business, we continue to refine our products and target markets and are implementing significant price and distribution contract changes for both new and eligible in-force policies. We expect these actions will benefit earnings going forward and will help mitigate the pressure from increasing claims durations resulting from continued high unemployment in Europe. We maintain our focus on markets in Europe and plan to grow our lifestyle protection insurance business selectively in other new markets.

 

   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance. In the U.S., economic factors such as high unemployment, declining home prices and limited credit availability have significantly impacted mortgage origination volumes and had an effect on home buyers’ abilities and willingness to meet their mortgage obligations. We have responded by shifting to a business model that is expected to deliver higher returns with a lower risk profile, through tightened underwriting criteria, increased pricing, and certain restrictions based on product type and geographic location, while maintaining our focus on insuring high quality single-family mortgages. Beginning in early 2009, we reduced new business production levels in order to manage our risk profile and maintain appropriate capital buffers through the recent unprecedented housing market cycle. As we executed on several capital initiatives and further refined our product and underwriting approaches during the first half of 2009, we successfully created these additional capital buffers and expanded our production levels in the second half of 2009, thus growing our market share.

Retirement and Protection

Through our Retirement and Protection segment, we market various forms of life insurance, long-term care insurance, wealth management, retirement income and supplementary protection products and services. In December 2009, we began reporting our institutional and corporate-owned life insurance products, previously included in our Retirement and Protection segment, in Corporate and Other activities, as they were deemed non-strategic. The corporate-owned life insurance product was previously included in our long-term care insurance business. All prior period amounts have been re-presented. In January 2009, we also began reporting our equity access business in our long-term care insurance business. Our equity access business includes our wholly-owned subsidiary that originates reverse mortgage loans, and was previously reported in Corporate and Other activities. The amounts associated with this business were not material and the prior period amounts have not been re-presented.

 

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The following table sets forth financial information regarding our Retirement and Protection segment as of or for the periods indicated. For additional selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our Retirement and Protection segment as of or for these periods, see “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Retirement and Protection.”

 

     As of or for the years ended
December 31,
 

(Amounts in millions)

   2009     2008     2007  

Revenues:

      

Life insurance

   $ 1,485      $ 1,455      $ 1,959   

Long-term care insurance

     2,744        3,403        2,677   

Wealth management

     278        330        336   

Retirement income

     1,160        1,148        1,912   
                        

Total revenues

   $ 5,667      $ 6,336      $ 6,884   
                        

Net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders:

      

Life insurance

   $ 217      $ 264      $ 310   

Long-term care insurance

     171        166        158   

Wealth management

     28        43        44   

Retirement income

     8        (246     212   
                        

Total net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

     424        227        724   

Net investment gains (losses), net of taxes and other adjustments

     (484     (360     (95

Expenses related to reorganization, net of taxes

     —          (12 )     —     
                        

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

   $ (60   $ (145   $ 629   
                        

Total segment assets

   $ 81,497      $ 78,758      $ 81,772   
                        

Life insurance

Our life insurance business markets and sells products that provide a personal financial safety net for individuals and their families. These products provide protection against financial hardship after the death of an insured and may also offer a savings element that can be used to help accumulate funds to meet future financial needs. In 2009, we implemented new marketing strategies and enhanced sales support services and product offerings that allow our producers to effectively sell to our targeted middle market consumer segment. Our sales support efforts provide case management services for producers and marketing programs focused on middle market consumers who purchase policies with face amounts under $1 million. These services include a simplified fulfillment process and underwriting which enable high volume, low-cost processing for lower average policy sizes supporting our targeted markets.

Products

Our principal life insurance products are term life and universal life. We also have a runoff block of whole life insurance. Term life insurance products provide coverage with guaranteed level premiums for a specified period of time and generally have little or no buildup of cash value. We have been a leading provider of term life insurance for more than two decades and are a leader in marketing through brokerage general agencies (“BGAs”) in the U.S. In 2009, we introduced a new term universal life insurance product that is designed to replace new sales of our existing term life insurance products. The new term universal life insurance product offers death benefit guarantee premiums that are competitive with traditional term insurance premiums for comparable

 

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durations. This new product also provides greater flexibility typically associated with universal life insurance coverage while reducing related non-economic capital requirements and financing costs relative to traditional term life insurance.

We also offer other universal life insurance products that are designed to provide permanent protection for the life of the insured and may include a buildup of cash value that can be used to meet particular financial needs during the policyholder’s lifetime.

Underwriting and pricing

Underwriting and pricing are significant drivers of profitability in our life insurance business, and we have established rigorous underwriting and pricing practices. We have generally reinsured risks in excess of $5 million per life. From time to time, we may reinsure any risk depending on the pricing terms of available reinsurance. We set pricing assumptions for expected claims, lapses, investment returns, expenses and customer demographics based on our experience and other factors.

We price our life insurance policies based primarily upon our historical experience. We target individuals primarily in preferred risk categories, which include healthier individuals who generally have family histories that do not present increased mortality risk. We also have significant expertise in evaluating people with health problems and offer appropriately priced coverage based on stringent underwriting criteria.

Distribution

We offer life insurance products through an extensive network of independent BGAs throughout the U.S. and through financial intermediaries and insurance marketing organizations. We believe there are opportunities to expand our sales through each of these and other distribution channels.

Competition

Competition in our life insurance business comes from many sources, including many traditional insurance companies as well as non-traditional providers, such as banks and structured finance or private equity markets. The life insurance market is highly fragmented. Competitors have multiple access points to the market through BGAs, financial institutions, career sales agents, multi-line exclusive agents, e-retail and other life insurance distributors. We operate primarily in the BGA channel and have built additional capabilities in other channels. We believe our competitive advantage in the term life insurance market comes from our long history serving this market, our service excellence, underwriting expertise and pricing on smaller face amounts as our average policy size is less than $400,000. We believe that this past success will help with sales of our new term universal life insurance product as it will be sold primarily through existing BGA and other channels.

Long-term care insurance

We established ourselves as a pioneer in long-term care insurance over 30 years ago and remain a leading provider in the industry. Our experience helps us plan for disciplined growth built on a foundation of strong risk management, product innovation, a diversified distribution strategy and claims processing expertise.

AARP selected us as its provider to offer new long-term care insurance products to its approximately 40 million members, and we entered into a five-year exclusive endorsement agreement with AARP in 2007. This relationship includes access to two new distribution channels, telephone and internet sales, with direct access to customers.

Products

Our individual and group long-term care insurance products provide defined levels of protection against the significant and escalating costs of long-term care provided in the insured’s home or in assisted living or nursing

 

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facilities. Insureds become eligible for certain covered benefits if they become incapable of performing certain activities of daily living. In contrast to health insurance, long-term care insurance provides coverage for skilled and custodial care provided outside of a hospital or health-related facility. Long-term care insurance claims typically have a duration of approximately one to four years with an average duration of approximately two years.

We also offer linked-benefits products for customers who have traditionally self-funded long-term care risk or seek multiple benefits. One linked-benefits product combines universal life insurance with long-term care insurance coverage in a single policy that provides coverage for cash value, death benefits and long-term care benefits. We also offer a linked-benefits product that combines a single premium deferred annuity with long-term care insurance coverage. As of January 1, 2010, the Pension Protection Act allows long-term care insurance premiums paid from the account value of an annuity with long-term care coverage to be tax-free. We believe that this regulatory change to the tax law will make the annuity linked-benefit product more attractive to producers and consumers as a way to purchase long-term care insurance in a tax advantaged manner while also retaining an annuity asset.

As a complement to our long-term care insurance offerings, Medicare supplement insurance provides supplemental insurance coverage to seniors who participate in the Medicare program. The product covers deductibles and coinsurance amounts that are not covered by traditional Medicare, which seniors without supplemental coverage would have to pay out-of-pocket. The product design was standardized in 1992 to provide better clarity for seniors, but was revised again in 2008 when Congress passed the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act (“MIPPA”). One effect of MIPPA is that all providers of Medicare supplement insurance are required to re-file their products to reflect the new plan and benefit changes in order to continue selling after May 31, 2010. We are in the process of filing and obtaining approvals for our re-filed plans in multiple states.

Underwriting and pricing

We employ extensive medical underwriting policies to assess and quantify risks before we issue our long-term care insurance policies, similar to, but separate from, those we use in underwriting life insurance products.

We have accumulated extensive pricing and claims experience, and believe we have the largest actuarial database in the industry. The overall profitability of our long-term care insurance business depends primarily on the accuracy of our pricing assumptions for claims experience, morbidity and mortality experience, lapse rates and investment yields. Our actuarial database provides us with substantial data that has helped us develop sophisticated pricing methodologies for our newer policies. We tailor pricing based on segmented risk categories, including marital status, medical history and other factors. Profitability on older policies issued without the full benefit of this experience and pricing methodology has been lower than initially assumed in pricing of those blocks. We continually monitor trends and developments and update assumptions that may affect the risk, pricing and profitability of our long-term care insurance products and adjust our new product pricing and other terms, as appropriate. We also work with a Medical Advisory Board, comprised of independent experts from the medical field that provides insights on emerging morbidity and medical trends, enabling us to be more proactive in our risk segmentation, pricing and product development strategies.

During 2007 and 2008, we filed for state regulatory approvals for a premium rate increase of between 8% and 12% on most of our block of older issued long-term care insurance policies and are currently in the process of implementing this rate increase. The rate increase has been approved in 45 states with implementation occurring on a staged basis. As of December 31, 2009, this block represented approximately $635 million, or 34%, of our total annual long-term care insurance premium in-force.

Distribution

We have a broad and diverse distribution network for our products. We distribute our products through diversified sales channels consisting of appointed independent producers, financial intermediaries and dedicated

 

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sales specialists. We have made significant investments in our servicing and support for both independent and dedicated sales specialists and we believe our product features, distribution support and services are leading the industry.

Competition

Competition in the long-term care insurance industry is primarily limited to ten insurance companies. Our products compete by providing consumers with an array of long-term care planning solutions from a single company coupled with support services. There is a product and price point available within the reach of a wide spectrum of the population who are concerned about mitigating the costs of future long-term care needs or leveraging their self-insurance dollars. We believe our significant historical experience and risk disciplines provide us with a competitive advantage in the form of sound product value, competitive pricing and company stability.

Wealth management

We offer a broad array of wealth management solutions to individual investors through financial advisors. We provide an open-architecture product platform along with tailored client advice, asset allocation options, practice management and support services, and technology to the financial advisor channel. We previously expanded our presence in the managed account service provider market, also known as the turnkey asset management platform market, through the acquisition of AssetMark Investment Services, Inc. (“AssetMark”). On August 1, 2008, Genworth Financial Asset Management, Inc. (“GFAM”) merged into AssetMark with AssetMark being the surviving entity. AssetMark subsequently changed its name to Genworth Financial Wealth Management, Inc. (“GFWM”) on August 1, 2008. Through the combined resources of GFAM and AssetMark, GFWM has expanded our position as a leading provider in this market. As of September 30, 2009, we were ranked second, based on assets under management, among advisory third-party managed account providers according to the third quarter of 2009 Managed Account Research published by Cerulli Associates (“Cerulli Research”).

Products

We work with financial advisors to develop portfolios consisting of individual securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and variable annuities designed to meet their client’s particular investment objectives. Generally, clients for these products and services have accumulated significant capital, and our principal asset management strategy is to help protect their assets while taking advantage of opportunities for capital appreciation. Some of our advisory clients also use the custodial services of our trust company, Genworth Financial Trust Company.

Through our open-architecture platform, we offer to financial advisors one of the most comprehensive fee-based investment management platforms in the industry, access to custodians, client relationship management tools and business development programs, to enable these retail financial advisors to offer institutional caliber services to their clients. GFWM serves as investment advisor to the AssetMark Funds, the Genworth Financial Contra Fund and the Genworth Variable Insurance Trust. The AssetMark Funds and the Genworth Financial Contra Fund are mutual funds offered to clients of financial advisors. Funds in the Genworth Variable Insurance Trust are open-end mutual funds available in separate accounts of our variable annuity products.

Additionally, through our retail broker/dealer, we offer annuity and insurance products, including our proprietary products, as well as third-party mutual funds, insurance and other investment products.

Distribution

We distribute these products and services through independent investment advisory professionals and financial professionals affiliated with our retail broker/dealer.

 

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Competition

We compete primarily in the managed account service provider market, including both mutual fund and separate account offerings. The market is highly competitive, and is differentiated by advisor profile and service. The ten largest companies in the advisory third-party managed account provider market comprise approximately 93% of assets under management as of September 30, 2009 according to Cerulli Research. Our broker/dealer and its related investment advisory businesses also compete in the independent broker/dealer market, primarily working with advisors who are also accountants and tax preparers.

Retirement income

We are focused on helping individuals create dependable income streams for life or for a specified period of time and helping them save and invest to achieve financial goals. We pursue this goal in both individual retail and group markets. We believe our product designs, investment strategy requirements, hedging disciplines and use of reinsurance reduce some of the risks to insurers that generally accompany traditional products with guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDBs”), guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (“GMWBs”) and certain types of guaranteed annuitization benefits. We are targeting people who are focused on building a personal retirement plan with portability or are moving from the accumulation to the distribution phase of their retirement planning.

Fee-based products

Variable annuities and variable life insurance

We offer variable annuities that provide customers with a variety of investment options in a separate account format. The contractholder bears the risk associated with the performance of investments in the separate account. In addition, some of our variable annuities permit customers to allocate assets to a guaranteed interest account managed within our general account.

Variable annuities generally provide us fees including mortality and expense risk charges and, in some cases, administrative charges. The fees equal a percentage of the contractholder’s policy account value and as of December 31, 2009, range from 0.75% to 4.05% per annum depending on the features and options within a contract.

Our variable annuity contracts generally provide a basic GMDB which provides a minimum account value to be paid upon the annuitant’s death. Contractholders may also have the option to purchase riders that provide enhanced death benefits. Assuming every annuitant died on December 31, 2009, as of that date, contracts with death benefit features not covered by reinsurance had an account value of $7,090 million and a related death benefit exposure of $681 million net amount at risk.

Some of our variable annuity products provide the contractholder with a guaranteed minimum income stream that they cannot outlive, along with an opportunity to participate in market appreciation.

As a solution to the trend of employers moving away from traditional defined benefit retirement plans to defined contribution plans such as 401(k) plans, we have introduced to the qualified plan market a group variable annuity with guaranteed retirement income features. This product is designed to offer participants the ability to secure guaranteed retirement income with growth potential during the accumulation phase while maintaining liquidity; and during the distribution phase, to provide guaranteed annual income with upside growth potential with varying degrees of liquidity with respect to underlying assets.

We discontinued selling variable life insurance policies on May 1, 2008; however, we continue to service existing policies.

 

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Institutional Asset Management Services

Until December 31, 2006, we managed a pool of municipal GICs issued by affiliates of General Electric Company (“GE”). As of January 1, 2007, we provided transition and consulting services to the GE affiliates for their municipal GICs through December 15, 2008.

Distribution

We distribute our variable annuity products through banks, national brokerage firms and independent broker/dealers. We also distribute our group variable annuity product through broker/dealers and through defined contribution plan record keepers. We continue to work with additional record keepers to adopt our group variable annuity product on their platforms.

Competition

There are numerous competitors in this market within all major distribution channels through which we sell. Our variable annuity products enable consumers to opt for lifetime guaranteed income beginning immediately or on a deferred basis. We target specific consumer and distributor segments with our offerings.

Spread-based products

Fixed annuities

We offer fixed single premium deferred annuities which require a single premium payment at time of issue and provide an accumulation period and an annuity payout period. The annuity payout period in these products may be defined as either a defined number of years, the annuitant’s lifetime or the longer of a defined number of years or the annuitant’s lifetime. During the accumulation period, we credit the account value of the annuity with interest earned at a crediting rate guaranteed for no less than one year at issue, but which may be guaranteed for up to six years, and thereafter is subject to annual crediting rate resets at our discretion. The rate credited is based upon competitive factors and prevailing market rates, subject to statutory minimums. Our fixed annuity contracts are supported by the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company, and the accrual of interest during the accumulation period is generally on a tax-deferred basis to the owner. The majority of our fixed annuity contractholders retain their contracts for five to ten years.

Single premium immediate annuities

In exchange for a single premium, immediate annuities provide a fixed amount of income for either a defined number of years, the annuitant’s lifetime or the longer of a defined number of years or the annuitant’s lifetime.

Structured settlements

Structured settlement annuity contracts provide an alternative to a lump sum settlement, generally in a personal injury lawsuit or workers compensation claim, and typically are purchased by property and casualty insurance companies for the benefit of an injured claimant. The structured settlements provide scheduled payments over a fixed period or, in the case of a life-contingent structured settlement, for the life of the claimant with a guaranteed minimum period of payments. In the third quarter of 2006, we discontinued sales of our structured settlement annuities while continuing to service our retained and reinsured blocks of business.

Distribution

We distribute our spread-based products through banks, national brokerage and financial firms, independent broker/dealers and BGAs.

 

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Competition

We compete with a large number of life insurance companies in the single premium immediate annuity marketplace. We continue to see long-term growth prospects for single premium immediate annuities based on demographics. We believe long-term experience with mortality and longevity, combined with disciplined risk management, contribute to competitiveness in how we segment and price our products for our targeted markets.

We have certain bank distribution relationships through which we distribute our fixed annuity products and we have expanded our efforts to distribute through independent channels, including BGAs. Sales of fixed annuities are strongly linked to current interest rates, which affect the relative competitiveness of alternative products, such as certificates of deposit and money market funds. We have experienced fluctuations in sales levels for this product and expect these fluctuations to continue in the future based on our strategic focus, desired targeted returns and risk disciplines.

International

In our International segment, we offer mortgage insurance and lifestyle protection insurance with a presence in over 25 countries.

Through our international mortgage insurance business, we are a leading provider of mortgage insurance in Canada, Australia, Mexico and multiple European countries. We expanded our international operations throughout the 1990s and, today, we believe we are the largest overall provider of private mortgage insurance outside of the U.S.

Private mortgage insurance enables borrowers to buy homes with low-down-payment mortgages, which are usually defined as loans with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value. Low-down-payment mortgages are also referred to as high loan-to-value mortgages. Mortgage insurance protects lenders against loss in the event of a borrower’s default. It also generally aids financial institutions in managing their capital by reducing the capital required for low-down-payment mortgages. If a borrower defaults on mortgage payments, private mortgage insurance reduces and may eliminate losses to the insured institution. Private mortgage insurance may also facilitate the sale of mortgage loans in the secondary mortgage market.

Our lifestyle protection insurance business helps consumers meet payment obligations on outstanding financial commitments, such as mortgages, personal loans, credit cards or other forms of committed payments, in the event of a misfortune such as illness, accident, involuntary unemployment, disability or death.

 

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The following table sets forth financial information regarding our International segment as of or for the periods indicated. Additional selected financial information and operating performance metrics regarding our International segment as of or for these periods are included under “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—International.”

 

     As of or for the years ended
December 31,
 

(Amounts in millions)

   2009     2008     2007  

Revenues:

      

International mortgage insurance

   $ 1,259      $ 1,350      $ 1,161   

Lifestyle protection insurance

     1,301        1,557        1,528   
                        

Total revenues

   $ 2,560      $ 2,907      $ 2,689   
                        

Net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders:

      

International mortgage insurance

   $ 329      $ 481      $ 455   

Lifestyle protection insurance

     56        152        130   
                        

Total net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

     385        633        585   

Net investment gains (losses), net of taxes and other adjustments

     (5     (16     (5

Expenses related to reorganization, net of taxes

     —          (9     —     
                        

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

     380        608        580   

Add: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

     61        —          —     
                        

Net income (loss)

   $ 441      $ 608      $ 580   
                        

Total segment assets

   $ 12,143      $ 10,498      $ 11,892   
                        

International mortgage insurance

We have significant mortgage insurance operations in Canada and Australia, two of the largest markets for mortgage insurance products outside of the U.S., as well as smaller operations in New Zealand and developing mortgage insurance markets such as Europe and Mexico.

The mortgage loan markets in Canada and Australia are well developed, and mortgage insurance plays an important role in each of these markets. However, these markets vary significantly and are influenced by different cultural, economic and regulatory conditions.

We believe the following factors have contributed to the growth of mortgage insurance demand in these countries:

 

   

a desire by lenders to expand their business by offering low-down-payment mortgage loans;

 

   

the recognition of the higher default risk inherent in low-down-payment lending and the need for specialized underwriting expertise to conduct this business prudently;

 

   

government housing policies that support increased homeownership;

 

   

government policies that support the use of securitization and secondary market mortgage sales, in which third-party credit enhancement is often used as a source of funding and liquidity for mortgage lending; and

 

   

bank regulatory capital policies that provide incentives to lenders to transfer some or all of the credit risk on low-down-payment mortgages to third parties, such as mortgage insurers.

 

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Based upon our experience in the mature markets, we believe a favorable regulatory framework is important to the development of high loan-to-value lending and the use of products such as mortgage insurance to protect against default risk or to obtain capital relief. As a result, we have advocated governmental and policymaking agencies throughout our markets to adopt legislative and regulatory policies supporting increased homeownership and the use of private mortgage insurance. We have significant expertise in mature markets, and we leverage this experience in selected developing markets to encourage regulatory authorities to implement incentives to use private mortgage insurance as an important element of their housing finance systems.

We believe the revisions to a set of regulatory rules and procedures governing global bank capital standards that were introduced by the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, known as Basel II, also may encourage further growth of international mortgage insurance. Basel II has been designed to reward banks that have developed effective risk management systems by allowing them to hold less capital than banks with less effective systems. While Basel II was finalized and issued in June 2004, its adoption by individual countries internationally and in the U.S. is ongoing and significant additions and changes to the accord are being considered in light of the recent global financial crisis which could aid or detract from future demand for mortgage insurance.

Mortgage insurance in our International segment is predominantly single premium and provides 100% coverage in the two largest markets of Canada and Australia. Under single premium policies, the premium is usually included as part of the aggregate loan amount and paid to us as the mortgage insurer. We record the proceeds to unearned premium reserves, invest those proceeds and recognize the premiums over time in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence.

Canada

We entered the Canadian mortgage insurance market in 1995 and now operate in every province and territory. We are currently the leading private mortgage insurer in the Canadian market. The four largest mortgage originators in Canada provide the majority of the financing for residential mortgage financing in that country. Our five largest lender relationships in Canada provided the majority of our flow new insurance written in 2009.

In July 2009, Genworth MI Canada Inc. (“Genworth Canada”), our indirect subsidiary, completed the initial public offering (the “Offering”) of its common shares. Of the 49.7 million common shares of Genworth Canada that were sold in the Offering, 5.1 million common shares were sold by Genworth Canada and 44.6 million common shares were sold by Brookfield Life Assurance Company Limited, our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary. Following completion of the Offering, we beneficially own 57.5% of the common shares of Genworth Canada.

Products

We offer primary flow insurance and portfolio credit enhancement insurance. Regulations in Canada require the use of mortgage insurance for all mortgage loans extended by federally incorporated banks, trust companies and insurers, where the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80%.

We also provide portfolio credit enhancement insurance to lenders that have originated loans with loan-to-value ratios of less than or equal to 80%. These policies provide lenders with immediate capital relief from applicable bank regulatory capital requirements and facilitate the securitization of mortgages in the Canadian market. In both primary flow insurance and portfolio policies, our mortgage insurance in Canada provides insurance coverage for the entire unpaid loan balance, including interest, selling costs and expenses, following the sale of the underlying property.

 

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Government guarantee

We have an agreement with the Canadian government (the “Government Guarantee Agreement”) under which it guarantees the benefits payable under a mortgage insurance policy, less 10% of the original principal amount of an insured loan, in the event that we fail to make claim payments with respect to that loan because of insolvency. We pay the Canadian government a risk premium for this guarantee and make other payments to a reserve fund in respect of the government’s obligation. Because banks are not required to maintain regulatory capital on an asset backed by a sovereign guarantee, our 90% sovereign guarantee permits lenders purchasing our mortgage insurance to reduce their regulatory capital charges for credit risks on mortgages by 90%.

In July 2008, the Canadian government publicly announced adjustments to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages, including reducing the maximum amortization period to 35 years, requiring a minimum down payment of five percent and establishing a consistent minimum credit score. We incorporated these adjustments into our underwriting guidelines effective October 15, 2008. At the same time, the Canadian government sought changes to the Government Guarantee Agreement to incorporate these adjustments and to introduce other changes to modernize the Government Guarantee Agreement. In January 2010, the foregoing revisions to the Government Guarantee Agreement were formalized in an amendment to the Government Guarantee Agreement (the “Amendment”). Additionally, a provision was included in the Amendment that allows the government to implement industry-wide policy changes to mortgages that benefit from a government guarantee.

In February 2010, the Canadian government publicly announced adjustments to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages which (i) require that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage, (ii) lower the maximum amount borrowers can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90% from 95% of the value of their homes, and (iii) require a minimum down payment of 20% on non-owner-occupied properties purchased for speculation. These rules are expected to come into force in April 2010 and will be formalized in an amendment to the Government Guarantee Agreement.

The Canadian Department of Finance has informed us that they intend to continue to review the Government Guarantee Agreement we have with the Canadian government, and we remain engaged in ongoing discussions with Department of Finance officials on this matter. Although we believe the Canadian government will preserve the Government Guarantee Agreement in order to maintain competition in the Canadian mortgage industry, we cannot be sure what, if any, further changes will be made to the terms of the Government Guarantee Agreement.

Competition

Our primary mortgage insurance competitor in Canada is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) which is owned by the Canadian government, although we have other competitors in the Canadian market. CMHC’s mortgage insurance provides lenders with 100% capital relief from bank regulatory requirements. We compete with CMHC primarily based upon our reputation for high quality customer service, quick decision making on insurance applications, strong underwriting expertise, flexibility in product development and provision of support services. In 2009, as a result of the turmoil in the financial markets and tightened underwriting guidelines, there has been increased preference by lenders for CMHC insurance, which carries a lower capital charge and a 100% government guarantee, as compared to loans covered by our policy which benefits from a 90% government guarantee.

Australia

We entered the Australian mortgage insurance market in 1997 and the New Zealand mortgage insurance market in 1999. In 2009, we were the leading provider of mortgage insurance in Australia based upon flow new insurance written. We maintain strong relationships within the major bank and regional bank channels, as well as

 

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building societies, credit unions and non-bank mortgage originators called mortgage managers. As a result of the recent financial turmoil and associated liquidity crunch, funding for the regional banks and non-bank originators was very limited or not available, with most of their origination volume shifting to the major banks. As a result of the recent shift, the two largest mortgage originators in Australia provide the majority of the financing for residential mortgage financing in that country. Our two largest lender relationships in Australia provided the majority of our flow new insurance written in 2009 while we continue to serve multiple mortgage originators and target other expanded distribution relationships.

Products

In Australia and New Zealand, we offer primary flow mortgage insurance, also known as lenders mortgage insurance (“LMI”), and portfolio credit enhancement policies. Our principal product is LMI which is similar to single premium primary flow insurance we offer in Canada with 100% coverage. Lenders either collect the single premium from borrowers at the time the loan proceeds are advanced or capitalize it in the loan and remit the amount to us as the mortgage insurer.

We provide LMI on a flow basis to our customers. Banks, building societies and credit unions generally acquire LMI only for residential mortgage loans with loan-to-value ratios above 80%. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (“APRA”) regulations for approved deposit-taking institutions provide reduced capital requirements for high loan-to-value residential mortgages if they have been insured by a mortgage insurance company regulated by APRA. APRA’s license conditions require Australian mortgage insurance companies, including ours, to be monoline insurers, which are insurance companies that offer just one type of insurance product.

We also provide portfolio credit enhancement policies to APRA-regulated lenders that have originated Australian loans for securitization. Portfolio mortgage insurance serves as an important source of credit enhancement for the Australian securitization market, and our portfolio credit enhancement coverage generally is purchased for low loan-to-value, seasoned loans written by APRA-regulated institutions. To date, a market for these portfolio credit enhancement policies has not developed in New Zealand to the same extent as in Australia.

Competition

The Australian and New Zealand flow mortgage insurance markets are primarily served by one other private LMI company, as well as various lender-affiliated captive mortgage insurance companies. We compete primarily based upon our reputation for high quality customer service, quick decision making on insurance applications, strong underwriting expertise and flexibility in terms of product development and provision of support services.

Europe and other international

We began our European operations in the U.K., which is Europe’s largest market for mortgage loan originations and over time have expanded our presence to seven additional countries while reducing activities in the U.K. as a result of lenders self-insuring. In 2009, we were a leading private mortgage insurance provider in Europe, based upon flow new insurance written. We also have a presence in the developing private mortgage insurance market in Mexico and selectively assess other markets.

Products

Our mortgage insurance products in Europe consist principally of primary flow insurance structured with single premium payments. Our primary flow insurance generally provides first-loss coverage in the event of default on a portion (typically 10% to 20%) of the balance of an individual mortgage loan. We also offer portfolio credit enhancement to lenders that have originated loans for securitization.

 

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Competition

Our competition in Europe includes both public and private entities, including traditional insurance companies, as well as providers of alternative credit enhancement products and public mortgage guarantee facilities. Competition from alternative credit enhancement products include personal guarantees on high loan-to-value loans, second mortgages and bank guarantees, captive insurance companies organized by lenders, and alternative forms of risk transfer including capital markets solutions. We believe that our global expertise and coverage flexibility differentiate us from competitors and alternative products.

International mortgage insurance underwriting and pricing

Loan applications for all loans we insure are reviewed to evaluate each individual borrower’s credit strength and history, the characteristics of the loan and the value of the underlying property. Loan applications for flow mortgage insurance are reviewed by our employees or by employees of mortgage lender customers who underwrite loan applications for mortgage insurance under a delegated underwriting program. This delegated underwriting program permits approved lenders to commit us to insure loans using underwriting guidelines we have previously approved.

When underwriting bulk insurance transactions, we evaluate characteristics of the loans in the portfolio and examine loan files on a sample basis. Each bulk transaction is assigned an overall claim rate based on a weighted-average of the expected claim rates for each individual loan that comprises the transaction.

During 2009, we took additional actions to reduce our new business risk profile, which included: tightening underwriting guidelines, including product restrictions, reducing new business in geographic areas we believe are more economically sensitive, and terminating commercial relationships as a result of weaker business performance. We have also increased prices in certain markets based on periodic reviews of product performance. We believe these underwriting and pricing actions will improve our underwriting performance on new books of business, although to date, these actions have reduced the levels of new insurance written.

International mortgage insurance distribution

We maintain a dedicated sales force that markets our mortgage insurance products internationally to lenders. As in the U.S. market, our sales force markets to financial institutions and mortgage originators, who in turn offer mortgage insurance products to borrowers.

Lifestyle protection insurance

We currently provide lifestyle protection insurance to consumers in more than 20 countries offered principally by financial services companies at the point of sale of consumer products. We expect to selectively expand our lifestyle protection insurance business in new markets and by further penetration of existing distribution relationships and introduction of new products. In Europe, we are a leading provider of lifestyle protection insurance.

Products and services

Our lifestyle protection insurance products include protection from illness, accident, involuntary unemployment, disability and death. The benefits on these policies pay the periodic payments on a consumer loan or other form of committed payment for a limited period of time, typically twelve months, though they can be up to 84 months. In some cases, for certain coverages, we may make lump sum payments. Our policies include an exclusion period that is usually 60 days and a waiting period (time between claim submission and claim payment) of typically 30 days. Our policies either require an upfront single premium or monthly premiums.

We also provide third-party administrative services and administer non-risk premium with some relationships in Europe. Additionally, we have entered into structured portfolio transactions, covering Canadian and European risk.

 

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Underwriting and pricing

Our lifestyle protection insurance products are currently underwritten and priced on a program basis, by type of product and by distributor, rather than on an individual policyholder basis. In setting prices, we take into account the underlying obligation, the particular product features and the average customer profile of the distributor. For our monthly premium policies, most contracts allow for monthly price adjustments after consultation with our distribution partners which help us to reduce our business risk profile when there are adverse changes in the market. Additionally, certain of our distribution contracts provide for profit or loss sharing with our distribution partners, which provide our business and our distribution partners with risk protection and aligned economic interests over the life of the contract. We believe our experience in underwriting allows us to provide competitive pricing to distributors and generate targeted returns and profits for our business.

Distribution

We distribute our lifestyle protection insurance products primarily through financial institutions, including major European banks that offer our insurance products in connection with underlying loans or other financial products they sell to their customers. Under these arrangements, the distributors typically take responsibility for branding and marketing the products, while we take responsibility for pricing, underwriting and claims payment.

We continue to implement innovative methods for distributing our lifestyle protection insurance products, including web-based tools that provide our distributors with a cost-effective means of applying our products to a broad range of underlying financial obligations. We believe these innovative methods also make it easier to establish arrangements with new distributors, as well as help us further diversify our distribution and geographical channels in an increasingly changing environment.

Competition

The lifestyle protection insurance market has several large, highly rated international participants. We compete through our commitment to high service levels, depth of expertise in providing tailored product and service solutions and our ability to service global clients at a local level and in multiple countries, if appropriate.

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

Through our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment, we provide private mortgage insurance. Private mortgage insurance enables borrowers to buy homes with low-down-payment mortgages, which are usually defined as loans with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value. Low-down-payment mortgages are sometimes also referred to as high loan-to-value mortgages. Mortgage insurance protects lenders against loss in the event of a borrower’s default. It also generally aids financial institutions in managing their capital efficiently by reducing the capital required for low-down-payment mortgages. If a borrower defaults on mortgage payments, private mortgage insurance reduces and may eliminate losses to the insured institution. Private mortgage insurance may also facilitate the sale of mortgage loans in the secondary mortgage market.

We have been providing mortgage insurance products and services in the U.S. since 1981 and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our principal mortgage insurance customers are originators of residential mortgage loans who typically determine which mortgage insurer or insurers they will use for the placement of mortgage insurance written on loans they originate.

The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry is defined in part by the requirements and practices of Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) and other large mortgage investors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase residential mortgages from mortgage lenders and investors, as part of their governmental mandate to provide liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased approximately 70% for the year ended December 31, 2009 and approximately 60% and 44% for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively, of all the mortgage

 

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loans originated in the U.S., according to statistics published by Inside Mortgage Finance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises, and we refer to them as the “GSEs.” Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s mortgage insurance requirements include specified insurance coverage levels and minimum financial strength ratings. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac typically require maintenance of a rating by at least two out of three listed rating agencies (S&P, Fitch and Moody’s) of at least “AA-”/“Aa3” (as applicable), with no rating below those levels by any of the three listed rating agencies; otherwise, additional limitations or requirements may be imposed for eligibility to insure loans purchased by the GSEs. In February 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac temporarily suspended automatic imposition of the additional requirements otherwise applicable upon a ratings downgrade below the above-described requirements, subject to certain specified conditions. In 2009, we held ongoing discussions with the GSEs regarding these requirements. See “Financial Strength Ratings” for a complete description of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries’ current ratings.

The GSEs may purchase mortgages with unpaid principal amounts up to a specified maximum, or the “conforming loan limit,” which is currently $417,000 and subject to annual adjustment. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 permits the GSEs to purchase loans in excess of the $417,000 limit in certain high-cost areas of the country. For 2009, the limit in those areas is 125% of median home price for the area, but no more than $729,750. Each GSE’s Congressional charter generally prohibits it from purchasing a mortgage where the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80% of home value unless the portion of the unpaid principal balance of the mortgage, which is in excess of 80% of the value of the property securing the mortgage, is protected against default by lender recourse, participation or by a qualified insurer. As a result, high loan-to-value mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac generally are insured with private mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased the majority of the flow loans we insured as of December 31, 2009.

The following table sets forth selected financial information regarding our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment as of or for the periods indicated. Additional selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment as of or for these periods are included under “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—U.S. Mortgage Insurance.”

 

     As of or for the years ended
December 31,

(Amounts in millions)

   2009     2008     2007

Total revenues

   $ 826      $ 851      $ 805
                      

Net operating income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

   $ (459   $ (330   $ 167

Net investment gains (losses), net of taxes and other adjustments

     32        (38     4
                      

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

   $ (427   $ (368   $ 171
                      

Total segment assets

   $ 4,247      $ 3,978      $ 3,286
                      

Products and services

The majority of our U.S. mortgage insurance policies provide default loss protection on a portion (typically 10% to 40%) of the balance of an individual mortgage loan. Our primary mortgage insurance policies are predominantly “flow” insurance policies, which cover individual loans at the time the loan is originated. We also enter into “bulk” insurance transactions with lenders and investors in selected instances, under which we insure a portfolio of loans for a negotiated price.

In addition to flow and bulk primary mortgage insurance, we have written a limited amount of mortgage insurance on a pool basis. Under pool insurance, the mortgage insurer provides coverage on a group of specified loans, typically for 100% of all losses on every loan in the portfolio, subject to an agreed aggregate loss limit.

 

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Flow insurance

Flow insurance is primary mortgage insurance placed on an individual loan when the loan is originated. Our primary mortgage insurance covers default risk on first mortgage loans generally secured by one- to four-unit residential properties and can be used to protect mortgage lenders and investors from default on any type of residential mortgage loan instrument that we have approved. Our insurance covers a specified coverage percentage of a “claim amount” consisting of unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses associated with the default and subsequent foreclosure. As the insurer, we are generally required to pay the coverage percentage of a claim amount specified in the primary policy, but we also have the option to pay the lender an amount equal to the unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses incurred with the default and foreclosure, and acquire title to the property. In addition, the claim amount may be reduced or eliminated if the loss on the defaulted loan is reduced as a result of the lender’s disposition of the property. The lender selects the coverage percentage at the time the loan is originated, often to comply with investor requirements to reduce the loss exposure on loans purchased by the investor. Our master policies require that loans be underwritten to approved guidelines and provide for cancellation of coverage and return of premium for material breach of obligations. Our master policies generally do not extend to or cover material breach of obligations and misrepresentations known to the insured or specified agents. From time to time, based on various factors, we request loan files to verify compliance with our master policies and required procedures. Where our review and any related investigation establish material noncompliance or misrepresentation or there is a failure to deliver complete loan files as required, we rescind coverage with a return of all premiums paid.

In connection with flow insurance, we perform fee-based contract underwriting services for mortgage lenders. The provision of underwriting services by mortgage insurers eliminates the duplicative lender and mortgage insurer underwriting activities and speeds the approval process. Under the terms of our contract underwriting agreements, we agree to indemnify the lender against losses incurred in the event we make material errors in determining whether loans processed by our contract underwriters meet specified underwriting or purchase criteria, subject to contractual limitations on liability.

In the U.S., we have entered into a number of reinsurance agreements in which we share portions of our flow mortgage insurance risk written on loans originated or purchased by lenders with captive reinsurance companies, or captive reinsurers, affiliated with these lenders. In return, we cede a predetermined portion of our gross premiums on insurance written to the captive reinsurers. Substantially all of our captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements are structured on an excess of loss basis. In February 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a change to its eligibility rules limiting captive reinsurance arrangements to those where premiums ceded do not exceed 25%. As of December 31, 2009, our total mortgage insurance risk in-force reinsured to all captive reinsurers was $2.9 billion, and the total capital held in trust for our benefit by all captive reinsurers was $1.2 billion. These captive reinsurers are not rated, and their claims-paying obligations to us are secured by an amount of capital held in trust as determined by the underlying treaties. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, we recorded a reinsurance recoverable of $673 million and $505 million, respectively, under these captive reinsurance arrangements. We have exhausted certain captive reinsurance tiers for our 2005, 2006 and 2007 book years based on worsening loss development trends. Once the captive reinsurance or trust assets are exhausted, we are responsible for any additional losses incurred. We have begun to experience constraints on the recognition of captive benefit recovery due to the amount of funds held in certain captive trusts and the exhaustion of captive loss tiers for certain reinsurers. As of January 1, 2009, we no longer participate in excess of loss captive reinsurance transactions and we will only participate in quota share reinsurance arrangements. The majority of our excess of loss captive reinsurance arrangements are in runoff with no new books of business being added going forward; however, we will continue to benefit from captive reinsurance on our 2005, 2006 and 2007 books of business. New insurance written through the bulk channel generally is not subject to these arrangements.

 

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The following table sets forth selected financial information regarding our captive reinsurance arrangements as of or for the periods indicated:

 

     As of or for the years ended
December 31,
 
     2009     2008     2007  

Flow risk in-force subject to captive reinsurance arrangements, as a percentage of flow risk in-force

   51   55   63

Primary risk in-force subject to captive reinsurance arrangements, as a percentage of total primary risk in-force

   50   53   60

Gross written premiums ceded pursuant to captive reinsurance arrangements, as a percentage of total gross written premiums

   21   20   22

Primary new risk written subject to captive reinsurance arrangements, as a percentage of total primary new risk written

   3   33   56

Bulk insurance

Under primary bulk insurance, we insure a portfolio of loans in a single, bulk transaction. Generally, in our bulk insurance, the individual loans in the portfolio are insured to specified levels of coverage and there may be deductible provisions and aggregate loss limits applicable to all of the insured loans. In addition, loans that we insure in bulk transactions with loan-to-value ratios above 80% typically have flow mortgage insurance, written either by us or another private mortgage insurer, which helps mitigate our exposure under these transactions. We base the premium on our bulk insurance upon our evaluation of the overall risk of the insured loans included in a transaction and we negotiate the premium directly with the securitizer or other owner of the loans. Premiums for bulk transactions generally are paid monthly by lenders, investors or a securitization vehicle in connection with a securitization transaction or the sale of a loan portfolio. Prior to 2006, the majority of our bulk insurance business was related to loans financed by lenders who participated in the mortgage programs sponsored by the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBs”). Beginning in 2006, we selectively increased our participation in the GSE low documentation, or Alt-A, programs and began to provide bulk insurance on lender portfolios, a substantial portion of which was comprised of low loan-to-value and high Fair Isaac Company (“FICO”) score payment option adjustable rate (“POA”) loans. The risk in-force attributable to these newer books of business was substantially reduced in 2009 pursuant to agreements reached with the insured. In addition, in January 2010, we reached an agreement with a counterparty that reduces our bulk insurance exposure, leaving a small portfolio related principally to the FHLBs.

Pool insurance

Pool insurance generally covers the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan that either exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage (if primary insurance is required on that loan) or the total loss (if that loan does not require primary insurance), in each case up to a stated aggregate loss limit on the pool. While in 2006 and 2005, we wrote a limited amount of pool insurance coverage policies, we are no longer actively writing pool insurance.

Underwriting, pricing and loss mitigation

Loan applications for all loans we insure are reviewed to evaluate each individual borrower’s credit strength and history, the characteristics of the loan and the value of the underlying property.

Fair Isaac Company developed the FICO credit scoring model to calculate a score based upon a borrower’s credit history. We use the FICO credit score as one indicator of a borrower’s credit quality. Typically, a borrower with a higher credit score has a lower likelihood of defaulting on a loan. FICO credit scores range up to 850, with a score of 620 or more generally viewed as a “prime” loan and a score below 620 generally viewed as a “sub-prime” loan. A minus loans generally are loans where the borrowers have FICO credit scores between 575 and 660, and where the borrower has a blemished credit history. As of December 31, 2009, on a risk in-force basis, approximately 92% of our primary insurance loans had FICO credit scores of at least 620, approximately

 

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6% had FICO credit scores between 575 and 619, and approximately 2% had FICO credit scores of 574 or less. Loan applications for flow mortgage insurance are reviewed by our employees directly as part of our traditional underwriting process or by our contract underwriters as we process mortgage loan applications requiring mortgage insurance. The majority of our mortgage lender customers underwrite loan applications for mortgage insurance under a delegated underwriting program, in which we permit approved lenders to commit us to insure loans using underwriting guidelines we have previously approved.

When underwriting bulk insurance transactions, we evaluate credit scores and loan characteristics of the loans in the portfolio and examine loan files on a sample basis. Each bulk transaction is assigned an overall claim rate based on a weighted-average of the expected claim rates for each individual loan that comprises the transaction.

We formerly offered mortgage insurance for Alt-A loans, which were originated under programs in which there was a reduced level of verification or disclosure of the borrower’s income or assets and a higher historical and expected default rate than standard documentation loans; Interest Only loans which allowed the borrower flexibility to pay interest only, or to pay interest and as much principal as desired, during an initial period of time; and POA mortgages, which typically provided four payment options that a borrower could select for the first five years of a loan. Beginning in the second half of 2007 and through 2009, however, we took specific and substantial underwriting and risk management actions to reduce our new business risk profile, including exiting certain products and types of coverages, as well as changing prices, product levels and underwriting guidelines, to improve the performance of new business written. Our primary guideline actions during the fourth quarter of 2008 included adding incremental geographic locations to our declining market policy definition and changes in third-party loan origination guidelines, including restrictions on delegated underwriting guidelines, as well as imposing tighter underwriting guidelines on lower-credit and higher loan-to-value risks. Additionally, with increased refinancing activity, we also added new restrictions on FICO and debt-to-income ratios to better manage our capital consumption from new production. We believe these underwriting and pricing actions will continue to improve our underwriting results on these and future books of business under the anticipated economic and housing market environment, and may have an impact on our volume of new insurance written. We continue to monitor current housing conditions and the performance of our books of business to determine if we need to make further changes in our underwriting guidelines and practices. For example, we recently reduced the number of markets subject to our declining market policy to allow coverage of loans up to 95% loan-to-value in additional markets given improving housing market conditions.

Loss mitigation activities for our U.S. mortgage insurance business include rescissions, cancellations, borrower loan modifications, repayment plans, lender- and borrower-titled presales and other loan workouts and claim mitigation actions. As delinquencies increased and in response to the high incidence of fraud and misrepresentation that we uncovered in loans that we insure, we deployed additional resources to assess potential noncompliance or misrepresentation. During 2009, we rescinded coverage on nearly 22,000 loans. We take into consideration lender appeals of rescission actions and may reinstate coverage in some instances. We have also initiated efforts to assist delinquent borrowers in modifying their mortgage loans into more affordable instruments, thus forestalling foreclosures and claim activities and curing loan defaults or reducing the risk of default.

Distribution

We distribute our mortgage insurance products through our dedicated sales force throughout the U.S. This sales force primarily markets to financial institutions and mortgage originators, which in turn offer mortgage insurance products to borrowers. In addition to our field sales force, we also distribute our products through a telephone sales force serving our smaller lenders, as well as through our “Action Center” which provides live phone and web chat-based support for all customer segments.

 

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Competition

We compete primarily with U.S. and state government agencies, other private mortgage insurers, mortgage lenders and other investors, the GSEs and, potentially, the FHLBs. We also compete, indirectly, with structured transactions in the capital markets and with other financial instruments designed to mitigate credit risk although this last category of competition has been reduced by the dynamics of the financial crisis.

U.S. and state government agencies. We and other private mortgage insurers compete for flow business directly with U.S. federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, principally the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) and, to a lesser degree, the Veteran’s Administration (“VA”). In addition to competition from the FHA and the VA, we and other private mortgage insurers face competition from state-supported mortgage insurance funds in several states, including California, Illinois and New York.

Private mortgage insurers. The private mortgage insurance industry is highly competitive and currently consists of eight mortgage insurers, excluding us.

Mortgage lenders and other investors. We and other mortgage insurers compete with transactions structured by mortgage lenders to avoid mortgage insurance on low-down-payment mortgage loans. These transactions include self-insuring and simultaneous second loans, which separate a mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of more than 80%, which generally would require mortgage insurance, into two loans: a first mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of 80% and a simultaneous second mortgage for the excess portion of the loan. The level of simultaneous second mortgages has declined in 2009.

The GSEs—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHLBs. As the predominant purchasers of conventional mortgage loans in the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide a direct link between mortgage origination and capital markets. As discussed above, most high loan-to-value mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are insured with private mortgage insurance issued by an insurer deemed qualified by the GSEs. Our U.S. mortgage insurance companies are qualified insurers with both GSEs. Private mortgage insurers may be subject to competition from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the extent the GSEs are compensated for assuming default risk that would otherwise be insured by the private mortgage insurance industry.

We also compete with structured transactions in the capital markets and with other financial instruments designed to mitigate the risk of mortgage defaults, such as credit default swaps and credit linked notes, with lenders who forego mortgage insurance (self-insure) on loans held in their portfolios, and with mortgage lenders who maintain captive mortgage insurance and reinsurance programs.

Private mortgage insurers must satisfy requirements set by the GSEs to be eligible to insure loans sold to the GSEs, and the GSEs have the ability to implement new eligibility requirements for mortgage insurers. They also have the authority to change the pricing arrangements for purchasing retained-participation mortgages as compared to insured mortgages, increase or reduce required mortgage insurance coverage percentages, and alter or liberalize underwriting standards and pricing terms on low-down-payment mortgages they purchase.

In addition to the GSEs, FHLBs purchase single-family conforming mortgage loans. Although not required to do so, the FHLBs currently use mortgage insurance on substantially all mortgage loans with a loan-to-value ratio above 80%.

Corporate and Other

Our Corporate and Other activities include debt financing expenses that are incurred at our holding company level, unallocated corporate income and expenses, eliminations of inter-segment transactions, the results of non-core businesses and non-strategic products that are managed outside our operating segments and our group

 

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life and health insurance business, which we sold in May 2007 and was accounted for as discontinued operations. In December 2009, we began reporting our institutional and corporate-owned life insurance products, previously included in our Retirement and Protection segment, in Corporate and Other activities, as they were deemed non-strategic. The corporate-owned life insurance product was previously included in our long-term care insurance business in our Retirement and Protection segment. In January 2009, we also began reporting our equity access business in our long-term care insurance business included in our Retirement and Protection segment. Our equity access business includes our wholly-owned subsidiary that originates reverse mortgage loans, and was previously reported in Corporate and Other activities.

Our institutional products consist of funding agreements, FABNs and GICs, which are deposit-type products that pay a guaranteed return to the contractholder on specified dates. We manage the outstanding issuances from two FABN programs: a program registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) offered both to institutional and retail investors and a global medium term notes (“GMTN”) program sold to institutional investors both domestically and abroad. The registered notes program was discontinued in May 2009 and all SEC reporting obligations under the registered notes program were suspended. We had no new institutional sales in 2009 and are pursuing the issuance of our institutional products on an opportunistic basis in the current market environment.

Discontinued Operations

On May 31, 2007, we completed the sale of our group life and health insurance business for gross cash proceeds of approximately $660 million. Accordingly, the business was accounted for as discontinued operations and its results of operations, financial position and cash flows were separately reported for all periods presented. The sale resulted in a gain on sale of discontinued operations of $51 million, net of taxes.

International Operations

Information regarding our international operations is presented in note 20 to the consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Marketing

As we have positioned ourselves as a specialty insurance provider, we position, promote and differentiate our products and services through product value and innovation, risk management expertise, specialized support and technology for our distributors and innovative marketing programs tailored to particular consumer groups.

We offer a range of products that are designed to meet the needs of consumers throughout the various stages of their lives. We are selective in the products we offer and strive to maintain appropriate return and risk thresholds when we expand the scope of our product offerings. We also have developed sophisticated technological approaches that enhance performance by automating key processes and reducing response times, expenses and process variations. These approaches also make it easier for our customers and distributors to do business with us.

We have focused our marketing approach on promoting our product and service value proposition along with our brand to key constituencies, including sales intermediaries, employees, investors and consumers. We seek to build recognition of our offerings and brand and maintain good relationships with leading distributors by providing a high level of specialized and differentiated distribution support, such as product training, advanced marketing and sales solutions, financial product design for affluent customers and technology solutions that support the distributors’ sales efforts and by pursuing joint business improvement efforts. In addition, we sponsor various advisory councils with independent sales intermediaries and dedicated sales specialists to gather their feedback on industry trends, new product ideas, approaches to improve service and ways to enhance our relationships.

 

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Risk Management

Risk management is a critical part of our business. We have an enterprise risk management framework that includes risk management processes relating to product development and management, asset-liability management, investment activities, portfolio diversification, underwriting and risk and loss mitigation, financial databases and information systems, business acquisitions and dispositions, and operational capabilities. The risk management framework includes the assessment of risks, a proactive decision process to determine which risks are acceptable to be retained, appropriate risk and reward considerations, and the ongoing monitoring and management of those risks. We have emphasized our adherence to risk management disciplines and leveraged these efforts into a competitive advantage in distribution and management of our products.

Product development and management

Our risk management process begins with the development and introduction of new products and services. We have established a product development process that specifies a series of required analyses, reviews and approvals for any new product. For each proposed product, this process includes a review of the market opportunity and competitive landscape, major pricing assumptions and methodologies, return expectations and potential distributions, reinsurance strategies, underwriting criteria, legal, compliance and business risks and potential mitigating actions. Before we introduce a new product, we establish a monitoring program with specific performance targets and leading indicators, which we monitor frequently to identify any deviations from expected performance so that we can take corrective action when necessary. Significant product introductions, measured either by volume or level of risk, require approval by our senior management team at either the business or enterprise level.

We use a similar process to introduce variations to existing products and to offer existing products in new markets and through new distribution channels. Product performance reviews include an analysis of the major drivers of profitability, underwriting performance and variations from expected results including an in-depth experience analysis of the product’s major risk factors. Other areas of focus include the regulatory and competitive environments and other emerging factors that may be affecting product performance.

In addition, we initiate special reviews when a product’s performance fails to meet the indicators we established during that product’s introductory review process for subsequent reviews of in-force blocks of business. If a product does not meet our performance criteria, we consider adjustments in pricing, design and marketing or ultimately discontinuing sales of that product. We review our underwriting, pricing, distribution and risk selection strategies on a regular basis to ensure that our products remain competitive and consistent with our marketing and profitability objectives. For example, in our U.S. and international mortgage insurance and lifestyle protection insurance businesses, we review the profitability of lender accounts to assess whether our business with these lenders is achieving anticipated performance levels and to identify trends requiring remedial action, including changes to underwriting guidelines, product mix or other customer performance.

Asset-liability management

We maintain segmented investment portfolios for the majority of our product lines. This enables us to perform an ongoing analysis of the interest rate and credit risks associated with each major product line, in addition to the interest rate and credit risks for our overall enterprise. We analyze the behavior of our liability cash flows across a wide variety of scenarios, reflecting policy features and expected policyholder behavior. We also analyze the cash flows of our asset portfolios across the same scenarios. We believe this analysis shows the sensitivity of both our assets and liabilities to changes in economic environments and enables us to manage our assets and liabilities more effectively. In addition, we deploy hedging programs to mitigate certain economic risks associated with our assets, liabilities and capital. For example, we actively hedge the equity, interest rate and market volatility risks in our variable annuity products, as well interest rate risks in our long-term care insurance products.

 

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Portfolio diversification

We use new business and in-force product limits to manage our risk concentrations and to manage product, business level, geographic and other risk exposures. In addition, our assets are managed within limitations to control credit risk and to avoid excessive concentration in our investment portfolio. We seek diversification in our investment portfolio by investing in multiple asset classes, tailored to match the cash flow characteristics of our liabilities. In the recent adverse market environment, we are monitoring existing exposures and reducing some exposures, where appropriate.

We also manage unique product exposures in our business segments. For example, in managing our mortgage insurance risk exposure, we monitor geographic concentrations in our portfolio and the condition of housing markets in each country in which we operate. We monitor our concentration of risk in-force at the regional, state and major metropolitan area levels on a monthly basis. In the U.S., we evaluate the condition of housing markets in major metropolitan areas with our proprietary OmniMarket model, which rates housing markets based on variables such as economic activity, unemployment, mortgage delinquencies, home sales trends and home price changes. We also monitor factors that affect home prices and their affordability by region and major metropolitan area.

Underwriting and risk and loss mitigation

Underwriting guidelines for all products are routinely reviewed and adjusted as needed to ensure policyholders are provided with the appropriate premium and benefit structure. We seek external reviews from the reinsurance and consulting communities and are able to utilize their experience to calibrate our risk taking to expected outcomes.

Our risk and loss mitigation activities include ensuring that new policies are issued based on accurate information that we receive and that policy benefit payments are paid in accordance with the policy contract terms.

Financial databases and information systems

Our extensive financial databases and innovative information systems technology are important tools in our risk management. We believe we have the largest database for long-term care insurance claims with over 30 years of experience in offering those products. We also have substantial experience in offering individual life insurance products, and we have developed a large database of claims experience, particularly in preferred risk classes, which provides significant predictive experience for mortality.

We use advanced and, in some cases, proprietary technology to manage variations in our underwriting process. For example, in our mortgage insurance businesses, we use borrower credit scores, our proprietary mortgage scoring model, OmniScore®, and/or our extensive database of mortgage insurance experience along with external data including rating agency data to evaluate new products and portfolio performance. In the U.S. and Canada, OmniScore® uses the borrower’s credit score and additional data concerning the borrower, the loan and the property, including loan-to-value ratio, loan type, loan amount, property type, occupancy status and borrower employment to predict the likelihood of having to pay a claim. In the U.S., OmniScore® also incorporates our assessment of the housing market in which a property is located, as evaluated with our OmniMarket model. We believe this additional mortgage data and housing market assessment significantly enhances OmniScore’s® predictive power over the life of the loan. We perform portfolio analysis on an ongoing basis to determine if modifications are required to our product offerings, underwriting guidelines or premium rates.

Business acquisitions and dispositions

When we consider an acquisition or a disposition of a block or book of business or entity, we use various business, financial and risk management disciplines to evaluate the merits of the proposals and assess its strategic fit with our current business model. We have a review process that includes a series of required analyses, reviews and approvals similar to those employed for new product introductions.

 

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Operational capabilities

We have several risk management programs in place to ensure the continued operation of our businesses in the event of potential disruptive natural or man-made events. Business continuity plans are regularly reviewed and tested. All data is backed up on a nightly basis to alternative locations that are geographically separated.

A number of investigative teams are maintained in our various locations to address any fraudulent activities both from internal and external sources.

Operations and Technology

Service and support

We have dedicated teams of service and support personnel, supplemented by an outsourcing provider in India who provides back-office support to our sales intermediaries. We use advanced and, in some cases, proprietary, technology to provide product design and underwriting support, and we operate service centers that leverage technology, integrated processes and process management techniques.

In our Retirement and Protection segment, we interact directly and cost-effectively with our independent sales intermediaries and dedicated sales specialists through secure websites that have enabled them to transact business with us electronically, obtain information about our products, submit applications, check application and account status and view commission information. We also provide our independent sales intermediaries and dedicated sales specialists with account information to disseminate to their customers through the use of industry-standard communications.

We also introduced technologically advanced services to customers in our International and U.S. Mortgage Insurance segments. Advances in technology enable us to accept applications through electronic submission and to issue electronic insurance commitments and certificates to varying degrees across the jurisdictions in which we do business. Through our internet-enabled information systems, lenders can receive information about their loans in our database, as well as make corrections, file notices and claims, report settlement amounts, verify loan information and access payment histories. In the U.S., we also assist in workouts through what we believe was the mortgage insurance industry’s first on-line workout approval system, allowing lenders to request and obtain authorization from us for them to provide workout solutions to their borrowers.

Operating centers

We have centralized most of our operations and have established scalable, low-cost operating centers in Virginia, North Carolina and Ireland. In addition, through an arrangement with an outsourcing provider, we have a substantial team of professionals in India who provide a variety of services to us, including customer service, transaction processing, and functional support including finance, investment research, actuarial, risk and marketing resources to our insurance operations.

Technology capabilities and process improvement

We rely on proprietary processes for project approval, execution, risk management and benefit verification as part of our approach to technology investment. Our technology team is experienced in large-scale project delivery, including many insurance administration system consolidations and the development of Internet-based servicing capabilities. We continually manage technology costs by standardizing our technology infrastructure, consolidating application systems, reducing servers and storage devices and managing project execution risks.

We believe we have greatly enhanced our operating efficiency, generated significant cost savings and created competitive advantages by using a variety of process efficiency approaches and tools designed to address all aspects of process management. These enable us to more effectively operate processes, improve our process performance and build new processes. We are focused on driving our process and project execution and

 

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championing process management disciplines. We tailor the application of our approaches to the specific needs of each project or process resulting in more effective execution.

Reserves

We calculate and maintain reserves for estimated future benefit payments to our policyholders and contractholders in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) and industry accounting practices. We release these reserves as those future obligations are extinguished. The reserves we establish reflect estimates and actuarial assumptions with regard to our future experience. These estimates and actuarial assumptions involve the exercise of significant judgment that is subjected to a variety of internal and external independent reviews. Our future financial results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual future experience is consistent with the assumptions we have used in pricing our products and determining our reserves. Many factors can affect future experience, including economic and social conditions, inflation, healthcare costs and changes in doctrines of legal liability and damage awards in litigation. Therefore, we cannot determine with complete precision the ultimate amounts we will pay for actual future benefits or the timing of those payments.

Reinsurance

We follow the industry practice of reinsuring portions of our insurance risks with reinsurance companies. We use reinsurance both to diversify our risks and to manage loss exposures. Reinsurance is also used to improve capital efficiency of certain products, as well as available capital and surplus at the legal entity or enterprise levels. The use of reinsurance permits us to write policies in amounts larger than the risk we are willing to retain, and also to write a larger volume of new business.

We cede insurance primarily on a treaty basis, under which risks are ceded to a reinsurer on specific blocks of business where the underlying risks meet certain predetermined criteria. To a lesser extent, we cede insurance risks on a facultative basis, under which the reinsurer’s prior approval is required on each risk reinsured. Use of reinsurance does not discharge us, as the insurer, from liability on the insurance ceded. We, as the insurer, are required to pay the full amount of our insurance obligations even in circumstances where we are entitled or able to receive payments from our reinsurer. The principal reinsurers to which we cede risks have A.M. Best financial strength ratings ranging from “A++” to “A-.” Prior to the completion of our IPO, we entered into reinsurance transactions with Union Fidelity Life Insurance Company (“UFLIC”), an affiliate of our former parent, which resulted in a significant concentration of reinsurance risk with UFLIC, whose obligations to us are secured by trust accounts as described in note 9 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

The following table sets forth our exposure to our principal reinsurers, including reinsurance recoverable as of December 31, 2009 and the A.M. Best ratings of those reinsurers as of that date:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Reinsurance
recoverable
   A.M. Best rating

UFLIC (1)

   $ 14,827    A-

Riversource Life Insurance Company (2)

     644    A+

Munich American Reassurance Company

     339    A+

General Re Life Corporation

     145    A++

Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc.

     105    A

 

(1)

Prior to our IPO, we entered into several significant reinsurance transactions with UFLIC ceding in-force blocks of structured settlements, substantially all of our in-force blocks of variable annuities and a block of long-term care insurance policies that we reinsured in 2000 from MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut. See note 9 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

(2)

Our reinsurance arrangement with Riversource Life Insurance Company covers a runoff block of single-premium life insurance policies.

 

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We also participate in reinsurance programs in which we share portions of our U.S. mortgage insurance risk written on loans originated or purchased by lenders with captive reinsurance companies affiliated with these lenders. In return, we cede to the captive reinsurers a predetermined portion of our gross premiums on flow insurance written. New insurance written through the bulk channel generally is not subject to these arrangements. See “Item 1—Business—U.S. Mortgage Insurance” for additional information regarding reinsurance captives. As of December 31, 2009, we had a reinsurance recovery of $673 million where cumulative losses have exceeded the attachment points in several captive reinsurance arrangements.

Financial Strength Ratings

Ratings with respect to financial strength are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies. Ratings are important to maintaining public confidence in us and our ability to market our products. Rating organizations review the financial performance and condition of most insurers and provide opinions regarding financial strength, operating performance and ability to meet obligations to policyholders. Short-term financial strength ratings are an assessment of the credit quality of an issuer with respect to an instrument considered short-term in the relevant market, typically one year or less.

As of February 25, 2010, our principal life insurance subsidiaries were rated by A.M. Best, S&P, Moody’s and Fitch as follows:

 

Company

   A.M. Best rating    S&P rating    Moody’s rating    Fitch rating

Genworth Life Insurance Company

   A (Excellent)    A (Strong)    A2 (Good)    A- (Strong)

Genworth Life Insurance Company (Short-term rating)

   Not rated    A-1 (Strong)    P-1 (Superior)    Not rated

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

   A (Excellent)    A (Strong)    A2 (Good)    A- (Strong)

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company (Short-term rating)

   Not rated    A-1 (Strong)    P-1 (Superior)    Not rated

Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York

   A (Excellent)    A (Strong)    A2 (Good)    A- (Strong)

Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee

   A- (Excellent)    Not rated    Not rated    A- (Strong)

American Continental Insurance Company

   A- (Excellent)    Not rated    Not rated    Not rated

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York ratings do not apply to the safety or performance of underlying portfolios of variable products, which will fluctuate and could lose value.

As of February 25, 2010, our principal mortgage insurance subsidiaries were rated by S&P, Moody’s and DBRS as follows:

 

Company

  S&P rating   Moody’s rating   DBRS rating

Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation

  BBB- (Good)   Baa2 (Adequate)   Not rated

Genworth Residential Mortgage Insurance Corporation of North Carolina

  BBB- (Good)   Baa2 (Adequate)   Not rated

Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Pty Limited (Australia)

  AA- (Very Strong)   A1 (Good)   Not rated

Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Limited (Europe)

  BBB (Good)   Baa3 (Adequate)   Not rated

Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada

  AA- (Very Strong)   Not rated   AA (Superior)

Genworth Seguros de Credito a la Vivienda S.A. de C.V.

  mxAAA   Aa3.mx   Not rated

 

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As of February 25, 2010, our principal lifestyle protection insurance subsidiaries were rated by S&P as follows:

 

Company

   S&P rating

Financial Assurance Company Limited

   A- (Strong)

Financial Insurance Company Limited

   A- (Strong)

The A.M. Best, S&P, Moody’s, Fitch and DBRS ratings included are not designed to be, and do not serve as, measures of protection or valuation offered to investors. These financial strength ratings should not be relied on with respect to making an investment in our securities.

A.M. Best states that the “A” (Excellent) and “A-” (Excellent) ratings are assigned to those companies that have, in its opinion, an excellent ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders. The “A” (Excellent) and “A-” (Excellent) ratings are the third- and fourth-highest, respectively, of 15 ratings assigned by A.M. Best, which range from “A++” to “F.”

S&P states that an insurer rated “BBB” or higher is regarded as having financial security characteristics that outweigh any vulnerabilities and is highly likely to have the ability to meet financial commitments. An insurer rated “AA” (Very Strong) has very strong financial security characteristics, an insurer rated “A” (Strong) has strong financial security characteristics and an insurer rated “BBB” (Good) has good financial security characteristics. The “AA,” “A” and “BBB” ranges are the second-, third- and fourth-highest, respectively, of nine financial strength rating ranges assigned by S&P, which range from “AAA” to “R.” A plus (+) or minus (-) shows relative standing in a rating category. These suffixes are not added to ratings in the “AAA” category or to ratings below the “CCC” category. Accordingly, the “AA-,” “A,” “A-,” “BBB” and “BBB-” ratings are the fourth-, sixth-, seventh-, ninth- and tenth-highest, respectively, of S&P’s 21 ratings categories. The short-term “A-1” rating is the highest rating and shows the capacity to meet financial commitments on short-term policy obligations is strong. An obligor rated “mxAAA” has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments relative to that of other Mexican obligors. The “mxAAA” rating is the highest enterprise credit rating assigned on S&P’s CaVal national scale.

Moody’s states that insurance companies rated “A” (Good) offer good financial security and that insurance companies rated “Baa” (Adequate) offer adequate financial security. The “A” (Good) and “Baa” (Adequate) ranges are the third- and fourth-highest, respectively, of nine financial strength rating ranges assigned by Moody’s, which range from “Aaa” to “C.” Numeric modifiers are used to refer to the ranking within the group, with 1 being the highest and 3 being the lowest. These modifiers are not added to ratings in the “Aaa” category or to ratings below the “Caa” category. Accordingly, the “A1,” “A2,” “Baa2” and “Baa3” ratings are the fifth-, sixth-, ninth- and tenth-highest, respectively, of Moody’s 21 ratings categories. The short-term rating “P-1” is the highest rating and shows superior ability for repayment of short-term debt obligations. Issuers or issues rated “Aa.mx” demonstrate very strong creditworthiness relative to other issuers in Mexico.

Fitch states that “A” (Strong) rated insurance companies are viewed as possessing strong capacity to meet policyholder and contract obligations. The “A” rating category is the third-highest of eight financial strength rating categories, which range from “AAA” to “C.” The symbol (+) or (-) may be appended to a rating to indicate the relative position of a credit within a rating category. These suffixes are not added to ratings in the “AAA” category or to ratings below the “CCC” category. Accordingly, the “A-” rating is the seventh-highest of Fitch’s 21 ratings categories.

DBRS states that long-term obligations rated “AA” are of superior credit quality. Given the restrictive definition DBRS has for the “AAA” category, entities rated “AA” are also considered to be strong credits, typically exemplifying above-average strength in key areas of consideration and unlikely to be significantly affected by reasonably foreseeable events.

 

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A.M. Best, S&P, Moody’s, Fitch and DBRS review their ratings periodically and we cannot assure you that we will maintain our current ratings in the future. Other agencies may also rate our company or our insurance subsidiaries on a solicited or an unsolicited basis.

Investments

As of December 31, 2009, we had total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets of $68.5 billion. We manage our assets to meet diversification, credit quality, yield and liquidity requirements of our policy and contract liabilities by investing primarily in fixed maturity securities, including government, municipal and corporate bonds, mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities. We also hold mortgage loans on commercial real estate and other invested assets, which include short-term investments, trading securities, derivatives and limited partnerships. In all cases, investments for our particular insurance company subsidiaries are required to comply with restrictions imposed by applicable laws and insurance regulatory authorities.

The following table sets forth our cash, cash equivalents and invested assets as of December 31:

 

     2009     2008  

(Amounts in millions)

   Carrying
value
   % of
total
    Carrying
value
   % of
total
 

Fixed maturity securities, available-for-sale:

    

Public

   $ 37,158    54   $ 32,297    47

Private

     12,594    19        10,574    16   

Commercial mortgage loans

     7,499    11        8,262    12   

Other invested assets

     4,702    7        7,411    11   

Policy loans

     1,403    2        1,834    3   

Equity securities, available-for-sale

     159    —          234    —     

Cash and cash equivalents

     5,002    7        7,328    11   
                          

Total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets

   $ 68,517    100   $ 67,940    100
                          

For a discussion of our investments, see “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Consolidated Balance Sheets.”

Our primary investment objective is to meet our obligations to policyholders and contractholders while increasing value to our stockholders by investing in a diversified, high quality portfolio, comprised of income producing securities and other assets. Our investment strategy focuses primarily on:

 

   

mitigating interest rate risk through management of asset durations relative to policyholder and contractholder obligations;

 

   

selecting assets based on fundamental, research-driven strategies;

 

   

emphasizing fixed-income, low-volatility assets while pursuing active strategies to enhance yield;

 

   

maintaining sufficient liquidity to meet unexpected financial obligations;

 

   

regularly evaluating our asset class mix and pursuing additional investment classes; and

 

   

continuously monitoring asset quality.

We are exposed to two primary sources of investment risk:

 

   

credit risk, relating to the uncertainty associated with the continued ability of a given issuer to make timely payments of principal and interest and

 

   

interest rate risk, relating to the market price and cash flow variability associated with changes in market interest rates.

 

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We manage credit risk by analyzing issuers, transaction structures and any associated collateral. We monitor credit risk and continually measure the probability of credit default and estimated loss in the event of such a default, which provides us with early notification of worsening credits. We also manage credit risk through industry and issuer diversification and asset allocation practices. For commercial mortgage loans, we manage credit risk through geographic, property type and product type diversification and asset allocation.

We mitigate interest rate risk through rigorous management of the relationship between the duration of our assets and the duration of our liabilities, seeking to minimize risk of loss in both rising and falling interest rate environments. For further information on our management of interest rate risk, see “Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

Organization

Our investment department comprises asset management, portfolio management, derivatives, risk management and accounting functions. Under the direction of the Investment Committee, it is responsible for establishing investment policies and strategies, reviewing asset-liability management and performing asset allocation.

We use both internal and external asset managers to take advantage of specific areas of expertise in particular asset classes or to leverage country-specific investing capabilities. We manage certain asset classes for our domestic insurance operations, including public corporate securities, structured securities, government securities, commercial mortgage loans, privately placed debt securities and derivatives. We utilize external asset managers primarily for our municipal securities, emerging markets and high yield portfolios. Management of investments for our international operations is overseen by the managing director and boards of directors of the applicable non-U.S. legal entities in consultation with our Chief Investment Officer. The majority of the assets of our lifestyle protection insurance and European, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand mortgage insurance businesses are managed by unaffiliated investment managers located in their respective countries. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, approximately 15% and 13% of our invested assets, respectively, were held by our international businesses and were invested primarily in non-U.S.-denominated securities.

Fixed maturity securities

Fixed maturity securities, which were primarily classified as available-for-sale, including tax-exempt bonds, consisted principally of publicly traded and privately placed debt securities, and represented 73% and 63% of total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.

We invest in privately placed fixed maturity securities to increase diversification and obtain higher yields than can ordinarily be obtained with comparable public market securities. Generally, private placements provide us with protective covenants, call protection features and, where applicable, a higher level of collateral. However, our private placements are generally not freely transferable because of restrictions imposed by federal and state securities laws, the terms of the securities and the characteristics of the private market.

 

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The following table presents our public, private and total fixed maturity securities by the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSRO”) designations and/or equivalent ratings, as well as the percentage, based upon fair value, that each designation comprises. Certain fixed maturity securities that are not rated by the NRSRO are shown based upon the equivalent National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) designation or, in limited circumstances, internally prepared credit evaluations.

 

     December 31,  

(Amounts in millions)

   2009     2008  

Rating agency designation

   Amortized
cost
   Fair
value
   % of
total
    Amortized
cost
   Fair
value
   % of
total
 

Public fixed maturity securities

                                

AAA/AA/A

   $ 27,907    $ 27,782    75   $ 26,996    $ 24,846    77

BBB

     7,279      7,247    19        7,250      6,111    19   

BB

     1,486      1,339    4        1,043      844    3   

B

     552      414    1        511      381    1   

CCC and lower

     656      376    1        120      102      

Not rated

                    14      13      
                                        

Total public fixed maturity securities

   $ 37,880    $ 37,158    100   $ 35,934    $ 32,297    100
                                        

Private fixed maturity securities

                                

AAA/AA/A

   $ 6,790    $ 6,107    48   $ 8,053    $ 5,791    55

BBB

     5,440      4,986    40        5,014      4,127    39   

BB

     1,481      1,247    10        781      596    6   

B

     237      156    1        88      54      

CCC and lower

     169      98    1        6      5      

Not rated

                    1      1      
                                        

Total private fixed maturity securities

   $ 14,117    $ 12,594    100   $ 13,943    $ 10,574    100
                                        

Total fixed maturity securities

                                

AAA/AA/A

   $ 34,697    $ 33,889    68   $ 35,049    $ 30,637    71

BBB

     12,719      12,233    25        12,264      10,238    24   

BB

     2,967      2,586    5        1,824      1,440    4   

B

     789      570    1        599      435    1   

CCC and lower

     825      474    1        126      107      

Not rated

                    15      14      
                                        

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 51,997    $ 49,752    100   $ 49,877    $ 42,871    100
                                        

Based upon fair value, public fixed maturity securities represented 75% of total fixed maturity securities as of December 31, 2009 and 2008. Private fixed maturity securities represented 25% of total fixed maturity securities as of December 31, 2009 and 2008.

 

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We diversify our fixed maturity securities by security sector. Our investments in mortgage-backed securities include securities collateralized by sub-prime and Alt-A loans. Sub-prime loans are loans considered alternative credit as broadly determined by a combination of FICO score, loan-to-value ratio and other collateral data. Alt-A loans are loans considered alternative or low documentation. The following table sets forth the fair value of our fixed maturity securities by sector as well as the percentage of the total fixed maturity securities holdings that each security sector comprised as of December 31:

 

     2009     2008  

(Amounts in millions)

   Fair
value
   % of
total
    Fair
value
   % of
total
 

U.S. government, agencies and government-sponsored enterprises

   $ 2,602    5   $ 905    2

Tax-exempt

     1,544    3        2,371    6   

Government—non-U.S.

     2,384    5        1,760    4   

U.S. corporate

     21,412    43        19,074    45   

Corporate—non-U.S.

     12,551    25        9,976    23   

Residential mortgage-backed (1)

     3,227    7        2,937    7   

Commercial mortgage-backed

     3,617    7        3,758    9   

Other asset-backed

     2,415    5        2,090    4   
                          

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 49,752    100   $ 42,871    100
                          

 

(1)

As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, our residential mortgage-backed securities included $422 million and $587 million, respectively, collateralized by sub-prime residential mortgage loans and $369 million and $491 million, respectively, collateralized by Alt-A residential mortgage loans.

See “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional information.

The following table sets forth the major industry types that comprise our corporate bond holdings, based primarily on industry codes established in the Barclays Capital Aggregate Index (formerly known as the Lehman Aggregate Index), as well as the percentage of the total corporate bond holdings that each industry comprised as of December 31:

 

     2009     2008  

(Amounts in millions)

   Fair
value
   % of
total
    Fair
value
   % of
total
 

Finance and insurance

   $ 9,466    28   $ 8,956    31

Utilities and energy

     7,300    21        5,900    21   

Consumer—non-cyclical

     3,962    12        3,475    12   

Capital goods

     2,348    7        2,035    7   

Technology and communications

     2,043    6        1,770    6   

Industrial

     1,719    5        1,549    5   

Consumer—cyclical

     1,637    5        1,496    5   

Transportation

     1,189    3        1,168    4   

Other

     4,299    13        2,701    9   
                          

Total

   $ 33,963    100   $ 29,050    100
                          

We diversify our corporate bond holdings by industry and issuer. The portfolio does not have significant exposure to any single issuer. As of December 31, 2009, our combined corporate bond holdings in the ten issuers to which we had the greatest exposure were $3.3 billion, which was approximately 5% of our total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets. The exposure to the largest single issuer of corporate bonds held as of December 31, 2009 was $459 million, which was less than 1% of our total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets.

 

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We do not have material unhedged exposure to foreign currency risk in our invested assets of our U.S. operations. In our international insurance operations, both our assets and liabilities are generally denominated in local currencies.

Commercial mortgage loans and other invested assets

Our mortgage loans are collateralized by commercial properties, including multi-family residential buildings. Commercial mortgage loans are primarily stated at principal amounts outstanding, net of deferred expenses and allowance for loan loss. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, we had $17 million and $18 million, respectively, of mortgage loans that were held-for-sale and were stated at the lower of cost or market.

We diversify our commercial mortgage loans by both property type and geographic region. See note 4 to our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information on distribution across property type and geographic region for commercial mortgage loans, as well as information on our interest in equity securities and other invested assets.

Selected financial information regarding our other invested assets and derivative instruments as of December 31, 2009 and 2008 is included under “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Investment and Derivative Instruments.”

Regulation

Our businesses are subject to extensive regulation and supervision.

General

Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations. State insurance laws and regulations (“Insurance Laws”) regulate most aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses, and our U.S. insurers are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled and licensed. Our non-U.S. insurance operations are principally regulated by insurance regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled. Our insurance products, and thus our businesses, also are affected by U.S. federal, state and local tax laws, and the tax laws of non-U.S. jurisdictions. Insurance products that constitute “securities,” such as variable annuities and variable life insurance, also are subject to U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. securities laws and regulations. The SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), state securities authorities and non-U.S. authorities regulate and supervise these products.

Our securities operations, including our insurance products that are regulated as securities, are subject to U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. securities and related laws. The SEC, state securities authorities, FINRA and similar non-U.S. authorities are the principal regulators of these operations.

The primary purpose of the Insurance Laws affecting our insurance and securities businesses, and the securities laws affecting our variable annuity products, variable life insurance products, registered FABNs, broker/dealers and advisory businesses, is to protect our policyholders, contractholders and clients, not our stockholders. These Insurance Laws are regularly re-examined and any changes to these laws or new laws may be more restrictive or otherwise adversely affect our operations.

In addition, insurance and securities regulatory authorities (including state law enforcement agencies and attorneys general or their non-U.S. equivalents) periodically make inquiries regarding compliance with insurance, securities and other laws and regulations, and we cooperate with such inquiries and take corrective action when warranted.

Our distributors and institutional customers also operate in regulated environments. Changes in the regulations that affect their operations may affect our business relationships with them and their decision to distribute or purchase our subsidiaries’ products.

 

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In addition, the Insurance Laws of our U.S. insurers’ domiciliary jurisdictions and the Insurance Laws in the U.K., Australia, Canada and certain other jurisdictions in which we operate require that a person obtain the approval of the applicable insurance regulator prior to acquiring control of an insurer. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent an investment in or a change of control involving us, or one or more of our regulated subsidiaries, including transactions that our management and some or all of our stockholders might consider desirable.

U.S. Insurance Regulation

Our U.S. insurers are licensed and regulated in all jurisdictions in which they conduct insurance business. The extent of this regulation varies, but Insurance Laws generally govern the financial condition of insurers, including standards of solvency, types and concentrations of permissible investments, establishment and maintenance of reserves, credit for reinsurance and requirements of capital adequacy, and the business conduct of insurers, including marketing and sales practices and claims handling. In addition, Insurance Laws usually require the licensing of insurers and agents, and the approval of policy forms, related materials and the rates for certain lines of insurance.

The Insurance Laws applicable to us or our U.S. insurers are described below. Our U.S. mortgage insurers are also subject to additional insurance laws and regulations applicable specifically to mortgage insurers discussed below under “—Mortgage Insurance.”

Insurance holding company regulation

All U.S. jurisdictions in which our U.S. insurers conduct business have enacted legislation requiring each U.S. insurer (except captive insurers) in a holding company system to register with the insurance regulatory authority of its domiciliary jurisdiction and furnish that regulatory authority various information concerning the operations of, and the interrelationships and transactions among, companies within its holding company system that may materially affect the operations, management or financial condition of the insurers within the system. These Insurance Laws regulate transactions between insurers and their affiliates, sometimes mandating prior notice to the regulator and/or regulatory approval. Generally, these Insurance Laws require that all transactions between an insurer and an affiliate be fair and reasonable, and that the insurer’s statutory surplus following such transaction be reasonable in relation to its outstanding liabilities and adequate to its financial needs. As a holding company with no significant business operations of our own, we depend on dividends or other distributions from our subsidiaries as the principal source of cash to meet our obligations, including the payment of interest on, and repayment of principal of, any debt obligations. Our U.S. insurers’ payment of dividends or other distributions is regulated by the Insurance Laws of their respective domiciliary states, and insurers may not pay an “extraordinary” dividend or distribution, or pay a dividend except out of earned surplus, without prior regulatory approval. In general, an “extraordinary” dividend or distribution is defined as a dividend or distribution that, together with other dividends and distributions made within the preceding 12 months, exceeds the greater (or, in some jurisdictions, the lesser) of:

 

   

10% of the insurer’s statutory surplus as of the immediately prior year end or

 

   

the statutory net gain from the insurer’s operations (if a life insurer) or the statutory net income (if not a life insurer) during the prior calendar year.

In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of ordinary dividends or other payments by our insurers (such as a payment under a tax sharing agreement or for employment or other services) if they determine that such payment could be adverse to our policyholders or contractholders.

The Insurance Laws of our U.S. insurers’ domiciliary jurisdictions require that a person obtain the approval of the insurance commissioner of an insurer’s domiciliary jurisdiction prior to acquiring control of such insurer. Control of an insurer is generally presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds

 

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with the power to vote, or holds proxies representing, 10% or more of the voting securities of the insurer or its ultimate parent entity. In considering an application to acquire control of an insurer, the insurance commissioner generally considers factors such as the experience, competence and financial strength of the applicant, the integrity of the applicant’s board of directors and executive officers, the acquirer’s plans for the management and operation of the insurer, and any anti-competitive results that may arise from the acquisition. Some states require a person seeking to acquire control of an insurer licensed but not domiciled in that state to make a filing prior to completing an acquisition if the acquirer and its affiliates and the target insurer and its affiliates have specified market shares in the same lines of insurance in that state. These provisions may not require acquisition approval but can lead to imposition of conditions on an acquisition that could delay or prevent its consummation.

Periodic reporting

Our U.S. insurers must file reports, including detailed annual financial statements, with insurance regulatory authorities in each jurisdiction in which they do business, and their operations and accounts are subject to periodic examination by such authorities.

Policy forms

Our U.S. insurers’ policy forms are subject to regulation in every U.S. jurisdiction in which they transact insurance business. In most U.S. jurisdictions, policy forms must be filed prior to their use, and in some U.S. jurisdictions, forms must be approved prior to use.

Market conduct regulation

The Insurance Laws of U.S. jurisdictions govern the marketplace activities of insurers, affecting the form and content of disclosure to consumers, product illustrations, advertising, product replacement, sales and underwriting practices, and complaint and claims handling, and these provisions are generally enforced through periodic market conduct examinations.

Statutory examinations

Insurance departments in U.S. jurisdictions conduct periodic detailed examinations of the books, records, accounts and business practices of domestic insurers. These examinations generally are conducted in cooperation with insurance departments of two or three other states or jurisdictions representing each of the NAIC zones, under guidelines promulgated by the NAIC.

In the three-year period ended December 31, 2009, we have not received any material adverse findings resulting from any insurance department examinations of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries.

Guaranty associations and similar arrangements

Most jurisdictions in which our U.S. insurers are licensed require those insurers to participate in guaranty associations which pay contractual benefits owed under the policies of impaired or insolvent insurers. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on each member insurer in a jurisdiction on the basis of the proportionate share of the premiums written by such insurer in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. Some jurisdictions permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets. Aggregate assessments levied against our U.S. insurers were not material to our consolidated financial statements.

Policy and contract reserve sufficiency analysis

The Insurance Laws of their domiciliary jurisdictions require our U.S. life insurers to conduct annual analyses of the sufficiency of their life and health insurance and annuity reserves. Other jurisdictions where

 

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insurers are licensed may have certain reserve requirements that differ from those of their domiciliary jurisdictions. In each case, a qualified actuary must submit an opinion stating that the aggregate statutory reserves, when considered in light of the assets held with respect to such reserves, make good and sufficient provision for the insurer’s associated contractual obligations and related expenses. If such an opinion cannot be provided, the insurer must establish additional reserves by transferring funds from surplus. Our U.S. life insurers submit these opinions annually to their insurance regulatory authorities. Different reserve requirements exist for our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries. See “—Reserves—Mortgage Insurance.”

Surplus and capital requirements

Insurance regulators have the discretionary authority, in connection with maintaining the licensing of our U.S. insurers, to limit or restrict insurers from issuing new policies, or policies having a dollar value over certain thresholds, if, in the regulators’ judgment, the insurer is not maintaining a sufficient amount of surplus or is in a hazardous financial condition. We seek to maintain new business and capital management strategies to support meeting related regulatory requirements. In addition, we do not believe that the current or anticipated levels of statutory surplus of our U.S. insurers present a material risk that any regulator would limit the types or values of new policies that our U.S. insurers may issue.

Risk-based capital

The NAIC has established Risk-Based Capital (“RBC”) standards for U.S. life insurers, as well as a risk-based capital model act (“RBC Model Act”). All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the RBC Model Act or a substantially similar law or regulation. The RBC Model Act requires that life insurers annually submit a report to state regulators regarding their RBC based upon four categories of risk: asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate and market risk, and business risk. The capital requirement for each is generally determined by applying factors which vary based upon the degree of risk to various asset, premium and reserve items. The formula is an early warning tool to identify possible weakly capitalized companies for purposes of initiating further regulatory action.

If an insurer’s RBC fell below specified levels, it would be subject to different degrees of regulatory action depending upon the level, ranging from requiring the insurer to propose actions to correct the capital deficiency to placing the insurer under regulatory control. As of December 31, 2009, the RBC of each of our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries exceeded the level of RBC that would require any of them to take or become subject to any corrective action.

Statutory accounting principles

U.S. insurance regulators developed statutory accounting principles (“SAP”) as a basis of accounting used to monitor and regulate the solvency of insurers. Since insurance regulators are primarily concerned with ensuring an insurer’s ability to pay its current and future obligations to policyholders, statutory accounting conservatively values the assets and liabilities of insurers, generally in accordance with standards specified by the insurer’s domiciliary jurisdiction. Uniform statutory accounting practices are established by the NAIC and are generally adopted by regulators in the various U.S. jurisdictions.

Due to differences in methodology between SAP and U.S. GAAP, the values for assets, liabilities and equity reflected in financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP are materially different from those reflected in financial statements prepared under SAP.

Regulation of investments

Each of our U.S. insurers is subject to Insurance Laws that require diversification of its investment portfolio and which limit the proportion of investments in certain asset categories, such as non-investment grade fixed

 

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maturity securities, equity real estate, other equity investments and derivatives. Assets invested contrary to such regulatory limitations must be treated as non-admitted assets for purposes of measuring surplus, and, in some instances, would require divestiture of such non-complying investments. We believe the investments made by our U.S. insurers comply with these Insurance Laws.

Federal regulation

Most of our variable annuity products, some of our fixed guaranteed products, and all of our variable life insurance products, as well as our FABNs issued as part of our registered notes program are “securities” within the meaning of federal and state securities laws, are registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and are subject to regulation by the SEC. These products may also be indirectly regulated by FINRA as a result of FINRA’s regulation of broker/dealers and may be regulated by state securities authorities. Federal and state securities regulation similar to that discussed below under “—Securities Regulation” affects investment advice and sales and related activities with respect to these products. In addition, although the federal government does not comprehensively regulate the business of insurance, federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas, including taxation, financial services regulation, and pension and welfare benefits regulation, can also significantly affect the insurance industry. In addition, in 2009, the SEC adopted a rule that would require most equity-indexed annuities to register as securities. In response to a court action challenging the rule, the SEC agreed to delay the rule’s effective date until it addresses certain procedural deficiencies in the rule’s adoption. The rule is now expected to become effective two years after its republication in the Federal Register.

Federal initiatives

Although the federal government generally does not directly regulate the insurance business, federal initiatives often, and increasingly, have an impact on the business in a variety of ways. From time to time, federal measures are proposed which may significantly affect the insurance business, including limitations on antitrust immunity, tax incentives for lifetime annuity payouts, simplification bills affecting tax-advantaged or tax-exempt savings and retirement vehicles, and proposals to modify or make permanent the estate tax repeal enacted in 2001. In addition, various forms of direct federal regulation of insurance have been proposed in recent years, and this has continued to be the case as Congress considers broader financial regulatory reform in the wake of the recent financial crisis.

The House of Representatives in December 2009 passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. A similarly broad financial services reform bill has been developed in the Senate, but no action has been taken to date. The House bill would create a Federal Office of Insurance within the Treasury Department to monitor the insurance industry, but at the present time this office would have no regulatory authority. The House bill also contains the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which could indirectly affect our mortgage insurance activities, as could the House bill’s provisions on foreclosure avoidance and affordable housing. In addition, the House bill would establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which could impose new sales conduct and licensing standards and change the competitive balance between banks and insurers in terms of their respective exposures to state enforcement of consumer regulations. Under the House bill, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency would be prohibited from exercising its authority with respect to persons regulated by state insurance regulators but would have the power to regulate the non-insurance activities of such persons and the consumer financial activities of non-insurance subsidiaries of insurers, and it would have the power to consult with the SEC about consumer products regulated by the SEC, which would include annuities that are treated as securities.

The regulatory reform effort could also include heightened regulatory oversight over insurers whose failure could pose a “systemic risk” to the financial system. The various proposals differ on how an insurer may be deemed systemically risky and the consequences of being so designated, such as heightened federal supervision pertaining to solvency and risk management, including with respect to subsidiaries that are otherwise already regulated.

We cannot predict whether any of the proposals described above will be adopted or what impact, if any, such proposals, if adopted as laws, may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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Changes in tax laws

Changes in tax laws could make some of our products less attractive to consumers. For example, the gradual increase in the federal estate tax exclusion amount, begun in 2001, which led to a temporary repeal of the federal estate tax in 2010, which we believe has resulted in reduced sales, and could continue to adversely affect sales and surrenders of some of our estate planning products, including survivorship/second-to-die life insurance policies. The federal estate tax is currently scheduled to be reinstated for estates of decedents dying after December 31, 2010, and Congress may introduce legislation in early 2010 that will reinstate the federal estate tax. The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, which lowered the federal income tax rate on capital gains and certain ordinary dividends, may provide an incentive for certain of our customers and potential customers to shift assets into mutual funds and away from our products including annuities that are designed to defer taxes payable on investment returns. On the other hand, individual income tax rates are scheduled to revert to previous levels in tax years beginning after 2010, possibly positively influencing investors to buy our products, and the 2010 expiration of favorable income tax rates for dividend income could increase interest in our products. However, the Obama Administration has proposed changes to the federal income tax laws that would preserve such favorable dividend and capital gain rates. There are also proposals that would decrease a life insurance company’s “dividends received deduction” on its separate account products and decrease the interest deduction of any business that owns life insurance.

In November 2009, the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 was enacted. This includes revised and expanded net operating loss carryback rules. The legislation permits realization of an amount currently recorded as a deferred tax asset and therefore there is no impact to net income. There is an expected recovery of approximately $108 million of cash taxes paid in previous years.

U.K. Insurance Regulation

General

Insurance and reinsurance businesses in the U.K. are subject to regulation by the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”), which has authorized certain of our U.K. subsidiaries to effect and carry out contracts of insurance in the U.K. Insurers authorized by the FSA in the U.K. are generally able to operate throughout the European Union, subject to satisfying certain FSA requirements and, in some cases, additional local regulatory provisions. Certain of our U.K. subsidiaries operate in other European Union member states through establishment of branch offices.

Supervision

The FSA has adopted a risk-based approach to the supervision of insurers whereby it periodically performs a formal risk assessment of insurance companies or groups conducting business in the U.K. After each risk assessment, the FSA will inform the insurer of its views on the insurer’s risk profile, including details of remedial action the FSA requires and the likely consequences of not taking such actions. The FSA also supervises the management of insurance companies through the “approved persons” regime, which subjects to FSA approval any person who performs certain specified “controlled functions” for or in relation to a regulated entity.

In addition, the FSA supervises the sale of general insurance, including certain lifestyle protection and mortgage insurance products. Under FSA rules, persons involved in the sale of general insurance (including insurers and distributors) are prohibited from offering or accepting any inducement in connection with the sale of general insurance that is likely to conflict materially with their duties to insureds. Although the rules do not generally require disclosure of broker compensation, the insurer or distributor must disclose broker compensation at the insured’s request.

 

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Solvency requirements

Under FSA rules, insurers must maintain a minimum amount of capital resources for solvency purposes at all times, the calculation of which depends on the type, amount and claims history of the insurer. Failure to maintain the required minimum amount of capital resources is one of the grounds on which the FSA may exercise its wide powers of intervention. In addition, an insurer that is part of a group is required to perform and submit to the FSA a capital resources calculation return in respect of the following:

 

   

The solvency capital resources available to the U.K. insurer’s European group defined by reference to the U.K. insurer’s ultimate parent company domiciled in the European Economic Area.

 

   

The solvency capital resources available to the U.K. insurer’s worldwide group defined by reference to the U.K. insurer’s ultimate parent company. This requirement is only a reporting requirement.

Restrictions on dividend payments

The U.K. Companies Act 2006 prohibits U.K. companies from making a distribution such as a dividend to their stockholders unless they have “profits available for distribution,” the determination of which is based on the company’s audited accumulated realized profits (so far as not previously utilized by distribution) less its accumulated realized losses (so far as not previously written off).

Change of control

The acquisition of “control” of any U.K. insurer requires prior FSA approval. For these purposes, a party that “controls” a U.K. insurer includes any company or individual that (together with any person with whom they are acting in concert) directly or indirectly acquires 10% or more of the shares in such insurer or its parent company, or is entitled to exercise or control the exercise of 10% or more of the voting power of such insurer or its parent company or is able to exercise significant influence over the management of the authorized insurance company or its parent company by virtue of its shareholding or voting power. Prior FSA approval is also required where an existing approved controller increases its “control” through certain thresholds (20%, 30% and 50%). To approve an application for acquiring control or increasing control, the FSA must be satisfied that there is no reasonable ground for objecting to the acquirer on the basis of the following statutory criteria: the acquirer’s reputation; the reputation and experience of any person who will direct the business of the U.K. insurer as a result of the proposed acquisition; the financial soundness of the acquirer; whether the U.K. insurer will be able to comply with its prudential requirements; if the U.K. authorized person is to become part of a group as a result of the acquisition, whether that group has a structure which makes it possible to exercise effective supervision, exchange of information among regulators and determine the allocation of responsibility among regulators; and whether there are reasonable grounds to suspect that in connection with the proposed acquisition, money laundering or terrorist financing is being or has been committed or attempted or the risk of such activity could increase. Failure to make the relevant prior application is a criminal offence on the part of the potential controller. It could also result in action being taken against our U.K. subsidiaries by the FSA.

Intervention and enforcement

The FSA has extensive powers to intervene in the affairs of an insurer or authorized person and has the power, among other things, to enforce and take disciplinary measures in respect of, breaches of its rules. Such powers include the power to vary or withdraw any authorizations.

Mortgage Insurance

State regulation

General

Mortgage insurers generally are limited by Insurance Laws to writing mortgage insurance business exclusively, prohibiting our mortgage insurers from directly writing other types of insurance. Mortgage insurers are not subject to the NAIC’s RBC requirements but are subject to other capital requirements placed directly on

 

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mortgage insurers. Generally, mortgage insurers are required by certain states and other regulators to maintain a risk in-force to capital ratio not to exceed 25:1. However, in 2009, legislation was signed into law in North Carolina granting discretion to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner through mid-2011 to allow a mortgage insurer to exceed the 25:1 requirement if the Commissioner finds that such insurer’s contingency reserves and surplus are reasonable in relationship to its aggregate insured risk and adequate to its financial needs, taking into account a number of specified factors. Similar legislative or regulatory initiatives have been proposed or enacted in a number of other states that impose a similar risk-to-capital requirement on mortgage insurers. As of December 31, 2009, none of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries had a risk in-force to capital ratio in excess of 25:1.

Reserves

Insurance Laws require our U.S. mortgage insurers to establish a special statutory contingency reserve in their statutory financial statements to provide for losses in the event of significant economic declines. Annual additions to the statutory contingency reserve must equal 50% of net earned premiums as defined by Insurance Laws. These contingency reserves generally are held until the earlier of (i) the time that loss ratios exceed 35% or (ii) ten years, although regulators have granted discretionary releases from time to time. The statutory contingency reserve for our U.S. mortgage insurers was approximately $928 million as of December 31, 2009. This reserve reduces the policyholder surplus of our U.S. mortgage insurers, and therefore, their ability to pay dividends to us.

Federal regulation

In addition to federal laws that directly affect mortgage insurers, private mortgage insurers are affected indirectly by federal legislation and regulation affecting mortgage originators and lenders, by purchasers of mortgage loans such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and by governmental insurers such as the FHA and VA. For example, changes in federal housing legislation and other laws and regulations that affect the demand for private mortgage insurance may have a material effect on private mortgage insurers. Legislation or regulation that increases the number of people eligible for FHA or VA mortgages could have a materially adverse effect on our ability to compete with the FHA or VA.

The Homeowners Protection Act provides for the automatic termination, or cancellation upon a borrower’s request, of private mortgage insurance upon satisfaction of certain conditions. The Homeowners Protection Act applies to owner-occupied residential mortgage loans regardless of lien priority and to borrower-paid mortgage insurance closed after July 29, 1999. FHA loans are not covered by the Homeowners Protection Act. Under the Homeowners Protection Act, automatic termination of mortgage insurance would generally occur once the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78%. A borrower generally may request cancellation of mortgage insurance once the actual payments reduce the loan balance to 80% of the home’s original value. For borrower-initiated cancellation of mortgage insurance, the borrower must have a “good payment history” as defined by the Homeowners Protection Act.

The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act of 1974 (“RESPA”) applies to most residential mortgages insured by private mortgage insurers. Mortgage insurance has been considered in some cases to be a “settlement service” for purposes of loans subject to RESPA. Subject to limited exceptions, RESPA precludes us from providing services to mortgage lenders free of charge, charging fees for services that are lower than their reasonable or fair market value, and paying fees for services that others provide that are higher than their reasonable or fair market value. In addition, RESPA prohibits persons from giving or accepting any portion or percentage of a charge for a real estate settlement service, other than for services actually performed. Although many states prohibit mortgage insurers from giving rebates, RESPA has been interpreted to cover many non-fee services as well. Mortgage insurers and their customers are subject to the possible sanctions of this law, which may be enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Administration (“HUD”), state insurance departments, state attorneys general and other enforcement authorities.

 

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The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) also affect the business of mortgage insurance in various ways. ECOA, for example, prohibits discrimination against certain protected classes in credit transactions. FCRA governs the access and use of consumer credit information in credit transactions and requires notices to consumers in certain circumstances.

Most originators of mortgage loans are required to collect and report data relating to a mortgage loan applicant’s race, nationality, gender, marital status and census tract to HUD or the Federal Reserve under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975 (“HMDA”). The purpose of HMDA is to detect possible impermissible discrimination in home lending and, through disclosure, to discourage such discrimination. Mortgage insurers are not required to report HMDA data although, under the laws of several states, mortgage insurers currently are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of certain classifications. Mortgage insurers have, through Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, entered voluntarily into an agreement with the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council to report the same data on loans submitted for insurance as is required for most mortgage lenders under HMDA.

International regulation

Canada

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OSFI”) provides oversight to all federally incorporated financial institutions, including our Canadian mortgage insurance company, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Genworth Canada. OSFI does not have enforcement powers over market conduct issues in the insurance industry, which are a provincial responsibility. The Federal Bank Act, Insurance Companies Act and Trust and Loan Companies Act prohibit Canadian banks, trust companies and insurers from extending mortgage loans where the loan value exceeds 80% of the property’s value, unless mortgage insurance is obtained in connection with the loan. As a result, all mortgages issued by these financial institutions with a loan-to-value ratio exceeding 80% must be insured by a qualified insurer or CMHC. In 2009, the Canadian government passed legislation, which has not yet been proclaimed in force, that will, among other things, amend these statutes to prohibit such financial institutions from charging borrowers amounts for mortgage insurance that exceed the lender’s actual costs and impose new disclosure obligations in respect of mortgage insurance.

The Government Guarantee Agreement in place with the Canadian government guarantees the benefits payable under mortgage insurance policies, less 10% of the original principal amount of an insured loan, in the event that we fail to make claim payments with respect to that loan because of insolvency. We pay the Canadian government a risk premium for this guarantee and make other payments to a reserve fund in respect of the government’s obligation. Because banks are not required to maintain regulatory capital on an asset backed by a sovereign guarantee, our 90% sovereign guarantee permits lenders purchasing our mortgage insurance to reduce their regulatory capital charges for credit risks on mortgages by 90%. In addition to recent amendments made to the Government Guarantee Agreement, the Canadian Department of Finance has informed us that they intend to continue to review the Government Guarantee Agreement we have with the Canadian government and we remain engaged in ongoing discussions with Department of Finance officials on this matter.

The Insurance Companies Act of Canada provides that dividends may only be declared by the board of directors of the Canadian insurer and paid if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the payment of the dividend would not cause the insurer to be in violation of its minimum capital and liquidity requirements. Also, we are required to notify OSFI at least 15 days prior to the dividend payment date.

The legislative requirement in Canada to obtain mortgage insurance on high loan-to-value mortgages and the favorable capital treatment given to financial institutions because of our 90% sovereign guarantee effectively preclude these financial institutions from issuing simultaneous second mortgage products similar to those offered in the U.S.

As a public company that is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”), Genworth Canada is subject to securities laws and regulation in each province in Canada, as well as the reporting requirements of the TSX.

 

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Australia

APRA regulates all financial institutions in Australia, including life, general and mortgage insurance companies. APRA’s license conditions require Australian mortgage insurers to be monoline insurers, which are insurers offering just one type of insurance product.

APRA also sets authorized capital levels and monitors corporate governance requirements, including our risk management strategy. In this regard, APRA reviews our management, controls, processes, reporting and methods by which all risks are managed, including an annual financial review and a periodic review of outstanding insurance liabilities by an approved actuary. APRA also annually requires us to submit our risk management and reinsurance management strategy, which outlines our use of reinsurance in Australia.

In addition, APRA determines the capital requirements for depository institutions and provides for reduced capital requirements for certain depository institutions that insure residential mortgages with an “acceptable” mortgage insurer for all non-standard mortgages and for standard mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 80%. APRA’s regulations currently set out a number of circumstances in which a loan may be considered to be non-standard from a depository institution’s perspective. APRA rules also provide that LMI on a non-performing loan (90 days plus arrears) protects most depository institutions from having to increase the regulatory capital on the loan to a risk-weighting of 100%. APRA’s regulations for mortgage insurers impose minimum capital requirements on mortgage insurers to assure they have sufficient capital to withstand a hypothetical three-year stress loss scenario. In addition, the regulations increase mortgage insurers’ capital requirements for insured loans that are considered to be non-standard. These regulations also impose quarterly reporting obligations on mortgage insurers with respect to risk profiles, reinsurance arrangements and financial position, include a definition of an “acceptable” mortgage insurer and eliminate the reduced capital requirements for depository institutions in the event that the mortgage insurer has contractual recourse to the depository institution or a member of the depository institution’s consolidated group.

Australian company law provides that dividends may only be paid out of profits of the Australian insurer. Additionally, APRA has the power to impose restrictions on our ability to declare and pay dividends based on a number of factors, including the impact on our minimum regulatory capital ratio.

United Kingdom and Europe

The U.K. is a member of the European Union and applies the harmonized system of regulation set out in the European Union directives. Our authorization to provide mortgage insurance in the U.K. enables us to offer our products in all the European Union member states, subject to certain regulatory requirements of the FSA and, in some cases, local regulatory requirements. We can provide mortgage insurance only in the classes for which we have authorization under applicable regulations and must maintain required risk and capital reserves. We are also subject to the oversight of other regulatory agencies in other countries throughout Europe where we do business. For more information about U.K. insurance regulation that affects our mortgage subsidiaries that operate in the U.K., see “—U.K. Insurance Regulation.”

Other Non-U.S. Insurance Regulation

We operate in a number of countries around the world in addition to the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K., including Mexico, Spain, Guernsey and Bermuda. Generally, our subsidiaries (and in some cases our branches) conducting business in these countries must obtain licenses from local regulatory authorities and satisfy local regulatory requirements, including those relating to rates, forms, capital, reserves and financial reporting.

 

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Other Laws and Regulations

Securities regulation

Certain of our U.S. subsidiaries and certain policies, contracts and services offered by them, are subject to regulation under federal and state securities laws and regulations of the SEC, state securities regulators and FINRA. Certain of our U.S. subsidiaries are investment advisors registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or applicable state securities laws. Certain of their employees are licensed as investment advisory representatives in states as required by state law. Two of our U.S. investment adviser subsidiaries manage investment companies that are registered with the SEC under the Investment Company Act of 1940. In addition, some of our insurance company separate accounts are registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Some variable annuity contracts and all of our variable life insurance policies, as well as our FABNs issued by one of our U.S. subsidiaries as part of our registered notes program are registered under the Securities Act of 1933. Certain of our U.S. subsidiaries are registered and regulated as broker/dealers under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are members of, and subject to regulation by FINRA, as well as by various state and local regulators. The registered representatives of our broker/dealers are also regulated by the SEC and FINRA and are subject to applicable state and local laws.

These laws and regulations are primarily intended to protect investors in the securities markets and generally grant supervisory agencies broad administrative powers, including the power to limit or restrict the conduct of business for failure to comply with such laws and regulations. In such event, the possible sanctions that may be imposed include suspension of individual employees, limitations on the activities in which the investment adviser or broker/dealer may engage, suspension or revocation of the investment adviser or broker/ dealer registration, censure or fines. We may also be subject to similar laws and regulations in the states and other countries in which we provide investment advisory services, offer the products described above or conduct other securities-related activities.

Certain of our U.S. subsidiaries also sponsor and manage investment vehicles that rely on certain exemptions from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Securities Act of 1933. Nevertheless, certain provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Securities Act of 1933 apply to these investment vehicles and the securities issued by such vehicles in certain circumstances. The Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933, including the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, are subject to change, which may affect our U.S. subsidiaries that sponsor and manage such investment vehicles.

The SEC, FINRA, state attorneys general, other federal offices and the New York Stock Exchange may conduct periodic examinations, in addition to special or targeted examinations of us and/or specific products. These examinations or inquiries may include, but are not necessarily limited to, product disclosures and sales issues, financial and accounting disclosure and operational issues. Often examinations are “sweep exams” whereby the regulator reviews current issues facing the financial or insurance industry as a whole.

Reverse mortgage regulation

We acquired Liberty Reverse Mortgage, Incorporated, an originator of reverse mortgage loans, on October 31, 2007. In November 2008, Liberty was renamed Genworth Financial Home Equity Access, Inc. (“GFHEA”). GFHEA is subject to various federal and state laws and regulations including mortgage banking laws and regulations (“Mortgage Banking Laws”), as well as other federal and state laws and regulations protecting privacy and other consumer rights. GFHEA is regulated by the mortgage banking departments of the states in which it is licensed, as well as the FHA with respect to loans insured through HUD.

In addition, mortgage banking authorities (including state law enforcement agencies and attorneys general) increasingly make inquiries regarding compliance with Mortgage Banking Laws and other applicable laws and regulations, and we cooperate with such inquiries and take corrective action when warranted. HUD conducts periodic, detailed examinations of the loans and business practices of issuers of reverse mortgage loans it insures.

 

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Environmental considerations

As an owner and operator of real property, we are subject to extensive U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. environmental laws and regulations. Potential environmental liabilities and costs in connection with any required remediation of such properties is also an inherent risk in property ownership and operation. In addition, we hold equity interests in companies, and have made loans secured by properties, that could potentially be subject to environmental liabilities. We routinely have environmental assessments performed with respect to real estate being acquired for investment and real property to be acquired through foreclosure. We cannot provide assurance that unexpected environmental liabilities will not arise. However, based upon information currently available to us, we believe that any costs associated with compliance with environmental laws and regulations or any remediation of such properties will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

ERISA considerations

We provide certain products and services to employee benefit plans that are subject to ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code. As such, our activities are subject to the restrictions imposed by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, including the requirement under ERISA that fiduciaries must perform their duties solely in the interests of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries, and fiduciaries may not cause or permit a covered plan to engage in certain prohibited transactions with persons who have certain relationships with respect to such plans. The applicable provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code are subject to enforcement by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

USA PATRIOT Act

The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (the “Patriot Act”), enacted in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, contains anti-money laundering and financial transparency laws and mandates the implementation of various new regulations applicable to broker/dealers and other financial services companies including insurance companies. The Patriot Act seeks to promote cooperation among financial institutions, regulators and law enforcement entities in identifying parties who may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. Anti-money laundering laws outside of the U.S. contain similar provisions. The increased obligations of financial institutions to identify their customers, watch for and report suspicious transactions, respond to requests for information by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies, and share information with other financial institutions, require the implementation and maintenance of internal practices, procedures and controls. We believe that we have implemented, and that we maintain, appropriate internal practices, procedures and controls to enable us to comply with the provisions of the Patriot Act. Certain additional requirements became applicable under the Patriot Act in May 2006 through a U.S. Treasury regulation which required that certain insurers have anti-money laundering compliance plans in place. We believe our plan complies with these requirements.

Privacy of consumer information

U.S. federal and state laws and regulations require financial institutions, including insurance companies, to protect the security and confidentiality of consumer financial information and to notify consumers about the companies’ policies and practices relating to their collection and disclosure of consumer information and their policies relating to protecting the security and confidentiality of that information. Similarly, federal and state laws and regulations also govern the disclosure and security of consumer health information. In particular, regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulate the disclosure and use of protected health information by health insurers and others, the physical and procedural safeguards employed to protect the security of that information, and the electronic transmission of such information. Congress and state legislatures are expected to consider additional legislation relating to privacy and other aspects of consumer information.

In Europe, the collection and use of personal information is subject to strict regulation. The European Union’s Data Protection Directive establishes a series of privacy requirements that European Union member states are obliged to enact into their national legislation. Certain European Union countries have additional

 

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national law requirements regarding the use of private data. Other European countries that are not European Union member states have similar privacy requirements in their national laws. These requirements generally apply to all businesses, including insurance companies. In general, companies may process personal information only if consent has been obtained from the individuals concerned or if certain other conditions are met. These other requirements include the provision of notice to customers and other persons concerning how their personal information is used and disclosed, limitations on the transfer of personal information to countries outside the European Union, registration with the national privacy authorities, where applicable, and the use of appropriate information security measures against the access or use of personal information by unauthorized persons. Similar laws and regulations protecting the security and confidentiality of consumer and financial information are also in effect in Canada, Australia and other countries in which we operate.

Employees

As of December 31, 2009, we had approximately 6,000 full-time and part-time employees. We believe our employee relations are satisfactory.

Directors and Executive Officers

See Part III, Item 10 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for information about our directors and executive officers.

Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available, without charge, on our website, www.genworth.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file such reports with the SEC. Our SEC filings are also accessible through the Internet on the SEC’s web site at www.sec.gov. Copies are also available, without charge, from Genworth Investor Relations, 6620 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230.

Our website also includes the charters of our Audit Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Legal and Public Affairs Committee, and Management Development and Compensation Committee, any key practices of these committees, our Governance Principles, and our company’s code of ethics. Copies of these materials also are available, without charge, from Genworth Investor Relations, at the above address. Within the time period required by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange, we will post on our website any amendment to our code of ethics and any waiver applicable to any of our directors, executive officers or senior financial officers.

On May 26, 2009, our Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer certified to the New York Stock Exchange that he was not aware of any violation by us of the New York Stock Exchange’s corporate governance listing standards.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

Our Transfer Agent and Registrar is The Bank of New York Mellon Shareowner Services, P.O. Box 358015, Pittsburgh, PA 15252-8015. Telephone: 866-229-8413; 201-680-6578 (outside the U.S. and Canada may call collect); and 800-231-5469 (for hearing impaired).

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following risks. These risks could materially affect our business, results of operations or financial condition, cause the trading price of our common stock to decline materially or cause our actual results to differ materially from those expected or those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. These risks are not exclusive, and additional risks to which we are subject include, but are not limited to, the factors mentioned under “Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements” and the risks of our businesses described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Risks Relating to Our Businesses

Downturns and volatility in global economies and equity and credit markets could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our results of operations are materially affected by the state of the global economies in which we operate and conditions in the capital markets we access. Factors such as higher unemployment, lower consumer spending, lower business investment, higher government spending, the volatility and strength of the global capital markets, and inflation all affect the business and economic environment and, ultimately, the amount and profitability of our business. The recessionary state and the volatility of many economies have fueled uncertainty and downturns in global mortgage markets have contributed to increased volatility in our business and results of operations. This uncertainty and volatility has impacted, and may continue to impact, the demand for certain financial and insurance products. As a result, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, an elevated incidence of claims and lapses or surrenders of policies, and some of our policyholders may choose to defer paying insurance premiums or stop paying insurance premiums altogether.

If domestic and international equity and credit markets experience heightened volatility and turmoil, issuers that have exposure to the mortgage and credit markets would be particularly affected. These events would have an adverse effect on us, in part because we have exposure to such issuers in our investment portfolio and also because such events can influence customer behavior. Our revenues would decline if there are significant impairments in our investment portfolio or the equity markets erode the profitability of our retirement income products impacted by those markets.

In addition, given continuing challenges in market conditions, issuers of the fixed-income securities and commercial mortgage loans that we own may default on principal and interest payments. Economic downturns like the one recently experienced could cause significant declines in the value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio and could lead to a higher rate of defaults on our fixed-income security portfolio, as well as declines in certain other asset classes and corporate bond sectors, that could adversely affect our financial results. Securities that are less liquid could also become more difficult to value and could be hard to dispose of in that type of economic environment.

The economic downturn has had, and will continue to have, an adverse effect on our ability to efficiently access capital markets for capital management purposes, including the issuance of fixed and floating rate non-recourse funding obligations for purposes of supporting our term and universal life insurance products. If credit markets remain tight, this is likely to have a continuing adverse impact on our profitability, liquidity and access to funding opportunities.

Downturns and volatility in equity markets may also discourage purchases of separate account products, such as variable annuities, that have returns linked to the performance of the equity markets and may cause some existing customers to withdraw cash values or reduce investments in these products. In addition, if the performance of the underlying mutual funds in the separate account products experience downturns and volatility for an extended period of time, the payment of any living benefit guarantee available in certain variable annuity products may have an adverse effect on us, because more payments will be required to come from general account assets than from contractholder separate account investments. Continued equity market volatility could

 

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result in additional losses in our variable annuity products and associated hedging program which will further challenge our ability to recover deferred acquisition costs (“DAC”) on these products and could lead to additional write-offs of DAC, as well as increased hedging costs.

Our revenues and returns from our mutual fund wrapped and separately managed account products and services could also be impacted by downturns and volatility in equity markets. Because these products and services generate fees generally from the value of assets under management, a decline in the equity markets could reduce our revenues by reducing the value of the investment assets we manage. Downturns in equity markets could also lead to an increase in liabilities associated with secondary guarantee features, such as guaranteed minimum benefits on separate account products, where we have equity market risk exposure.

A downgrade or a potential downgrade in our financial strength or credit ratings could result in a loss of business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Financial strength ratings, which various rating agencies publish as measures of an insurance company’s ability to meet contractholder and policyholder obligations, are important to maintaining public confidence in our products, the ability to market our products and our competitive position. Credit ratings, which rating agencies publish as measures of an entity’s ability to repay its indebtedness, are important to our ability to raise capital through the issuance of debt and to the cost of such financing. See “Item 1. Business—Financial Strength Ratings” for a complete description of our subsidiaries’ current ratings.

A ratings downgrade could occur for a variety of reasons, including reasons specifically related to our company, generally related to our industry or the broader financial services industry or as a result of changes by the rating agencies in their methodologies or rating criteria. A negative outlook on our ratings or a downgrade in any of our financial strength or credit ratings, the announcement of a potential downgrade, or customer concerns about the possibility of a downgrade, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These direct or indirect effects could include:

 

   

reducing new sales of insurance products, annuities and other investment products;

 

   

requiring us to modify some of our existing products or services to remain competitive, or introduce new products or services;

 

   

adversely affecting our relationships with key distributors, independent sales intermediaries and our dedicated sales specialists, including the loss of exclusivity under certain agreements with our independent sales intermediaries;

 

   

materially increasing the number or amount of policy surrenders and withdrawals by contractholders and policyholders;

 

   

requiring us to post additional collateral or terminate contracts under the terms of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association agreements with derivative counterparties, or to provide support in the form of collateral, capital contributions or letters of credit under the terms of certain of our reinsurance, securitization and other agreements;

 

   

adversely affecting our ability to maintain reinsurance assumed or obtain new reinsurance or obtain it on reasonable pricing terms;

 

   

adversely affecting our ability to raise capital; and

 

   

increasing our cost of borrowing.

In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require maintenance of a rating by at least two out of three listed rating agencies (S&P, Fitch and Moody’s) of at least “AA-”/“Aa3” (as applicable); otherwise additional limitations or requirements may be in the case of Fannie Mae or will be in the case of Freddie Mac imposed for eligibility to insure loans purchased by the GSEs. In February 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac temporarily

 

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suspended their ratings requirements for top tier mortgage insurers, subject to submission of an acceptable remediation plan. We have submitted remediation plans to both GSEs and to date have not been advised that either intends to impose additional requirements upon us. As of December 31, 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased the majority of the flow loans we insured in the U.S. An inability to insure mortgage loans sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or their transfer of our existing policies to an alternative mortgage insurer, would have a materially adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Interest rate fluctuations and levels could adversely affect our business and profitability.

Our insurance and investment products are sensitive to interest rate fluctuations and expose us to the risk that falling interest rates or credit spreads will reduce our margin or the difference between the returns we earn on the investments that support our obligations under these products and the amounts that we must pay to policyholders and contractholders. Because we may reduce the interest rates we credit on most of these products only at limited, pre-established intervals, and because some contracts have guaranteed minimum interest crediting rates, declines in interest rates have adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, the profitability of these products.

During periods of increasing market interest rates, we may offer higher crediting rates on interest-sensitive products, such as universal life insurance and fixed annuities, and we may increase crediting rates on in-force products to keep these products competitive. In addition, rapidly rising interest rates may cause increased policy surrenders, withdrawals from life insurance policies and annuity contracts and requests for policy loans, as policyholders and contractholders shift assets into higher yielding investments. Increases in crediting rates, as well as surrenders and withdrawals, could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our term life and long-term care insurance products also expose us to the risk of interest rate fluctuations. The pricing and expected future profitability of these products are based in part on expected investment returns. Over time, term life and long-term care insurance products generally produce positive cash flows as customers pay periodic premiums, which we invest as they are received. Low interest rates reduce our ability to achieve our targeted investment margins and may adversely affect the profitability of our term life and long-term care insurance products.

In both the U.S. and international mortgage markets, rising interest rates generally reduce the volume of new mortgage originations. A decline in the volume of new mortgage originations would have an adverse effect on our new mortgage insurance written. Rising interest rates also can increase the monthly mortgage payments for insured homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages (“ARMs”) that could have the effect of increasing default rates on ARM loans and thereby increasing our exposure on our mortgage insurance policies. This is particularly relevant in our international mortgage insurance business where ARMs are the predominant mortgage product.

Declining interest rates historically have increased the rate at which borrowers refinance their existing mortgages, thereby resulting in cancellations of the mortgage insurance covering the refinanced loans. Declining interest rates historically also have contributed to home price appreciation, which may provide borrowers in the U.S. with the option of cancelling their mortgage insurance coverage earlier than we anticipated when pricing that coverage. These cancellations could have an adverse effect on our results from our U.S. mortgage insurance business. However, under current housing market conditions, we are in a period of home price depreciation in a majority of markets. Consequently, some borrowers in the U.S. do not have sufficient equity to allow refinancing of existing higher rate ARMs for lower rate mortgage loans, an action that would typically result in the cancellation of existing mortgage insurance coverage. Many of these borrowers are now contributing to higher delinquencies and foreclosures because they are not able to meet the reset higher monthly payments due under the terms of the underlying ARMs. These developments have had an adverse impact on our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

 

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Interest rate fluctuations also could have an adverse effect on the results of our investment portfolio. During periods of declining market interest rates, the interest we receive on variable interest rate investments decreases. In addition, during those periods, we are forced to reinvest the cash we receive as interest or return of principal on our investments in lower-yielding high-grade instruments or in lower-credit instruments to maintain comparable returns. Issuers of fixed-income securities may also decide to prepay their obligations in order to borrow at lower market rates, which exacerbates the risk that we may have to invest the cash proceeds of these securities in lower-yielding or lower-credit instruments.

Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our access to capital and may affect our ability to meet liquidity or refinancing requirements in the future.

In the event market or other conditions have an adverse impact on our capital and liquidity needs beyond expectations and the sources outlined do not satisfy our needs, we could have to seek additional funding. Funding sources could potentially include the generation of proceeds from the sale of assets (including assets in our investment portfolio, blocks of business or all or a portion of a business) or the incurrence of additional debt. In addition, funding sources could potentially include issuing equity, with any decision to issue equity thoroughly considering the degree to which such an equity issuance would dilute current stockholders’ value. All such funding sources can have various impacts on our financial condition, including book value, and results of operations.

The availability of additional funding will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, regulatory considerations, the general availability of credit, the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry, the level of activity and availability of reinsurers or acquirers of assets, our credit ratings and credit capacity and the performance of and outlook for our business. Market conditions may make it difficult to obtain funding or complete asset sales to generate additional liquidity, especially on short notice. Our access to funding may be further impaired if our credit or financial strength ratings are negatively impacted.

Our valuation of fixed maturity, equity and trading securities may include methodologies, estimations and assumptions that are subject to differing interpretations and could result in changes to investment valuations that may materially adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.

Fixed maturity, equity and trading securities are reported at fair value on our consolidated balance sheets. They represent the majority of our total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets. Our portfolio of fixed maturity securities consists primarily of investment grade securities. During periods of market disruption, including periods of volatile asset pricing, credit-spread volatility, illiquidity and reduced transparency of market participant valuation inputs, certain of our investment securities, such as our Alt-A and sub-prime mortgage-backed securities, become difficult to value. There may be certain asset classes that were in active markets with significant observable data that become illiquid due to the economic environment. In these cases, valuing our investment securities may require more subjectivity and management judgment. As a result, valuations may include inputs and assumptions that are less observable or require greater estimation, as well as valuation methods that are more sophisticated or require greater estimation, thereby resulting in values that are less certain and may vary significantly from the value at which the investments may be ultimately sold. The methodologies, estimates and assumptions we use in valuing our investment securities evolve over time and are subject to different interpretation (including based on developments in relevant accounting literature), all of which can lead to changes in the value of our investment securities. Rapidly changing and unprecedented credit and equity market conditions could materially impact the valuation of investment securities as reported within our consolidated financial statements, and the period-to-period changes in value could vary significantly. Decreases in value may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

Defaults, downgrades or other events impacting the value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio may reduce our income.

We are subject to the risk that the issuers or guarantors of fixed maturity securities we own may default on principal or interest payments they owe us. As of December 31, 2009, fixed maturity securities of $49.8 billion in

 

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our investment portfolio represented 73% of our total cash, cash equivalents and invested assets. Events reducing the value of our investment portfolio other than on a temporary basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Levels of write-downs or impairments are impacted by our assessment of the financial condition of the issuer, whether or not the issuer is expected to pay its principal and interest obligations or circumstances that would require us to sell securities which have declined in value. Recent volatility and uncertainty in the sub-prime and Alt-A residential market have resulted in increased delinquency rates and these developments have had an adverse impact on our investments in securities backed by sub-prime and Alt-A residential mortgage loans. The credit quality of our hybrid securities may be adversely impacted by the level and type of government support, including the risk that these institutions could be nationalized or be restricted from making discretionary payments of principal or interest. If we determine to reposition or realign portions of the portfolio where we determine to sell certain securities in an unrealized loss position, then we will incur an other-than-temporary impairment charge.

Defaults on our commercial mortgage loans or the mortgage loans underlying our investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities and volatility in performance may adversely affect our profitability.

Our commercial mortgage loans and investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities face default risk. Commercial mortgage loans are stated on our consolidated balance sheets at unpaid principal balance, adjusted for any unamortized premium or discount, deferred fees or expenses, and are net of impairments and valuation allowances. We establish valuation allowances for estimated impairments as of the balance sheet date based on information, such as the market value of the underlying real estate securing the loan, any third-party guarantees on the loan balance or any cross collateral agreements and their impact on expected recovery rates. Commercial mortgage-backed securities are stated on our balance sheet at fair value. The performance of our commercial mortgage loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities investments, however, may fluctuate in the future. In addition, some of our commercial mortgage loans and the underlying mortgage loans supporting our investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities have balloon payment maturities. An increase in the default rate of our commercial mortgage loans could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Further, any concentration of geographic or sector exposure in our commercial mortgage loans or the mortgage loans underlying our investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities may have adverse effects on our investment portfolios and consequently on our consolidated results of operations or financial condition. While we seek to mitigate this risk by having a broadly diversified portfolio, events or developments that have a negative effect on any particular geographic region or sector may have a greater adverse effect on the investment portfolios to the extent that the portfolios are exposed.

We may be required to recognize additional impairments in the value of our goodwill, which would increase our expenses and reduce our U.S. GAAP profitability.

Goodwill represents the excess of the amount we paid to acquire our subsidiaries and other businesses 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 one level below the operating segment. Goodwill is impaired if the fair value of the reporting unit as a whole is less than the fair value of the identifiable assets and liabilities of the reporting unit, plus the carrying value of goodwill, at the date of the test. For example, goodwill may become impaired if the fair value of a reporting unit as a whole were to decline by an amount greater than the decline in the value of its individually identifiable assets and liabilities. This may occur for various reasons, including changes in actual or expected income or cash flows of a reporting unit or generation of income by a reporting unit at a lower rate of return than similar businesses or for decreases in our market capitalization. If any portion of our goodwill becomes impaired, we would be required to recognize the amount of the impairment as a non-cash expense in the current period. See note 8 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to goodwill.

 

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The soundness of other financial institutions could adversely affect us.

We routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks and other institutional clients. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. For example, we hedge various business risks using derivative instruments, including options, interest rate and currency swaps with a number of counterparties. If our counterparties fail or refuse to honor their obligations, our hedges of the related risk will be ineffective. Such failure could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

An inability to access our credit facilities could result in a reduction in our liquidity and lead to downgrades in our credit and financial strength ratings.

We rely on our credit facilities as a potential source of liquidity. The availability of these facilities could be critical to our credit and financial strength ratings and our ability to meet our obligations as they come due, particularly in the current market when alternative sources of credit are tight. The credit facilities contain various affirmative and negative covenants and events of default, including covenants requiring us to maintain a specified minimum consolidated net worth (as defined in the facilities), to conduct our business in certain specified ways, to comply with applicable laws and not to engage in certain fundamental changes to our business (including disposition of a business segment or assets above a certain threshold). Consolidated net worth, as defined in these agreements, means all amounts that would be included on a consolidated balance sheet of the borrower and its subsidiaries under stockholders’ equity, excluding accumulated non-owner changes in stockholders’ equity, also referred to as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), or “AOCI.” Our right to make borrowings under these facilities is subject to the fulfillment of certain important conditions, including our compliance with all covenants. Our failure to comply with the covenants in the credit facilities or fulfill the conditions to borrowings would restrict our ability to access these credit facilities when needed and, consequently, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See note 13 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to our credit facilities.

An adverse change in our risk-based capital and other regulatory requirements could result in a decline in our ratings, increased scrutiny by regulators and have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Our domestic life insurance company subsidiaries are subject to RBC standards and other minimum statutory capital and surplus requirements imposed under the laws of their respective states of domicile. The RBC standards, which are based upon the RBC Model Act adopted by the NAIC, require our insurance subsidiaries to report their results of RBC calculations annually to the state departments of insurance and the NAIC. Changes in SAP relating to RBC calculations could adversely impact our ability to meet minimum RBC and statutory capital and surplus requirements. In addition, defaults, impairments or declines in the NAIC designations in our investment portfolio and a decline in the results of operations of our insurance subsidiaries as recorded in accordance with SAP would have an adverse impact on our RBC levels.

The failure of our insurance subsidiaries to meet applicable RBC requirements or minimum statutory capital and surplus requirements could subject our insurance subsidiaries to further examination or corrective action imposed by state insurance regulators, including limitations on their ability to write additional business, state supervision, seizure or liquidation.

Our domestic mortgage insurers are not subject to the NAIC’s RBC requirements but are required by certain states and other regulators to maintain a certain risk in-force to capital ratio. The failure of our domestic mortgage insurance subsidiaries to meet their regulatory requirements could limit our ability to write new business. Additionally, our international insurance subsidiaries also have minimum regulatory requirements which vary by country.

 

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An adverse change in our RBC, risk in-force to capital ratio or other minimum regulatory requirements also could cause rating agencies to downgrade the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries, which would have an adverse impact on our ability to write and retain business. Certain actions by regulators or rating agencies could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If our reserves for future policy claims are inadequate, we may be required to increase our reserve liabilities, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We calculate and maintain reserves for estimated future payments of claims to our policyholders and contractholders in accordance with U.S. GAAP and industry accounting practices. We release these reserves as those future obligations are extinguished. The reserves we establish reflect estimates and actuarial assumptions with regard to our future experience. These estimates and actuarial assumptions involve the exercise of significant judgment. Our future financial results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual future experience is consistent with the assumptions we have used in pricing our products and determining our reserves. Many factors can affect future experience, including economic and social conditions, inflation, healthcare costs, policyholder persistency (resulting in adverse claims experience), and changes in doctrines of legal liability and damage awards in litigation. Therefore, we cannot determine with precision the ultimate amounts we will pay for actual claims or the timing of those payments.

We regularly monitor our reserves. If we conclude that our reserves are insufficient to cover actual or expected policy and contract benefits and claim payments, we would be required to increase our reserves and incur charges for the period in which we make the determination, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and may put additional strain on our available liquidity.

As a holding company, we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to transfer funds to us to pay dividends and to meet our obligations.

We act as a holding company for our subsidiaries and do not have any significant operations of our own. Dividends from our subsidiaries and permitted payments to us under our tax sharing arrangements with our subsidiaries are our principal sources of cash to meet our obligations. These obligations include our operating expenses and interest and principal on our current and any future borrowings. These obligations also include amounts we owe to GE under the Tax Matters Agreement. If the cash we receive from our subsidiaries pursuant to dividends and tax sharing arrangements is insufficient for us to fund any of these obligations, or if a subsidiary is unable to pay dividends to us, we may be required to raise cash through the incurrence of debt, the issuance of additional equity or the sale of assets.

The payment of dividends and other distributions to us by each of our insurance subsidiaries is regulated by insurance laws and regulations. In general, dividends in excess of prescribed limits are deemed “extraordinary” and require insurance regulatory approval. In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of ordinary dividends or other payments by our insurance subsidiaries to us (such as a payment under a tax sharing agreement or for employee or other services) if they determine that such payment could be adverse to our policyholders or contractholders.

Additionally, as a public company that is traded on the TSX, Genworth Canada is subject to securities laws and regulation in each province in Canada, as well as the rules of the TSX. These applicable laws, regulations and rules include but are not limited to, obligations and procedures in respect of the equal and fair treatment of all shareholders of Genworth Canada. Although the board of directors of Genworth Canada is composed of a majority of Genworth nominees, under Canadian law each director has an obligation to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Genworth Canada. Accordingly, actions taken by Genworth Canada and its board of directors are subject to, and may be limited by, the laws, regulations and rules applicable to such entities.

 

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Competitors could negatively affect our ability to maintain or increase our market share and profitability.

Our businesses are subject to intense competition. We believe the principal competitive factors in the sale of our products are product features, product investment returns, price, commission structure, marketing and distribution arrangements, brand, reputation, financial strength ratings and service. In many of our product lines, we face competition from competitors that have greater market share or breadth of distribution, offer a broader range of products, services or features, assume a greater level of risk, have lower profitability expectations or have higher financial strength ratings than we do. Many competitors offer similar products and use similar distribution channels. The substantial expansion of banks’ and insurance companies’ distribution capacities and expansion of product features in recent years have intensified pressure on margins and production levels and have increased the level of competition in many of our businesses. Consolidation among banks, insurance companies and other financial services companies could also have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations if the surviving entity requires more favorable terms than we had previously been offering to one or more of the combined companies or if it elects not to continue to do business with us following the consolidation. The appointment of a receiver to rehabilitate or liquidate a significant competitor could also negatively impact our businesses if such appointment were to impact consumer confidence in industry products and services.

Reinsurance may not be available, affordable or adequate to protect us against losses.

As part of our overall risk and capital management strategy, we have historically purchased reinsurance from external reinsurers as well as provided internal reinsurance support for certain risks underwritten by our various business segments. The availability and cost of reinsurance protection are impacted by our operating and financial performance as well as conditions beyond our control. For example, volatility in the equity markets and the related impacts on asset values required to fund liabilities may reduce the availability of certain types of reinsurance and make it more costly when it is available, as reinsurers are less willing to take on credit risk in a volatile market. Accordingly, we may be forced to incur additional expenses for reinsurance or may not be able to obtain sufficient new reinsurance on acceptable terms, which could adversely affect our ability to write future business or obtain statutory capital credit for new reinsurance.

If the counterparties to our reinsurance arrangements or to the derivative instruments we use to hedge our business risks default or fail to perform, we may be exposed to risks we had sought to mitigate, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We use reinsurance and derivative instruments to mitigate our risks in various circumstances. Reinsurance does not relieve us of our direct liability to our policyholders, even when the reinsurer is liable to us. Accordingly, we bear credit risk with respect to our reinsurers. We cannot assure you that our reinsurers will pay the reinsurance recoverable owed to us now or in the future or that they will pay these recoverables on a timely basis. A reinsurer’s insolvency, inability or unwillingness to make payments under the terms of its reinsurance agreement with us could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Prior to the completion of our IPO, we ceded to UFLIC substantially all of our in-force structured settlements block of business, variable annuity business and the long-term care insurance assumed from MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut as of December 31, 2003. UFLIC has established trust accounts for our benefit to secure its obligations under the reinsurance arrangements, and General Electric Capital Corporation (“GE Capital”), an indirect subsidiary of GE, has agreed to maintain UFLIC’s RBC above a specified minimum level. If UFLIC becomes insolvent notwithstanding this agreement, and the amounts in the trust accounts are insufficient to pay UFLIC’s obligations to us, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

In addition, we use derivative instruments to hedge various business risks. We enter into a variety of derivative instruments, including options and interest rate and currency swaps with a number of counterparties. If our counterparties fail or refuse to honor their obligations under the derivative instruments, our hedges of the related risk will be ineffective. This failure could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our focus on key distribution relationships may expose us to reduced sales in the future.

Although we distribute our products through a wide variety of distribution models, we do maintain relationships with key distribution partners. These distribution partners are an integral part of our business model. If capital, credit and equity markets experience extreme volatility, we are at risk that key distribution partners may merge, change their distribution model affecting how our products are sold, or terminate their distribution contract with us. In addition, timing of key distributor adoption of our new product offerings may impact sales of those products. Distributors may elect to reduce or terminate their distribution relationships with us if there are adverse developments in our business, adverse rating agency actions or concerns about market-related risks. Any termination or material change in relationship with a key distribution partner could have a material adverse affect on our future sales for one or more product lines.

Our insurance businesses are heavily regulated and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth.

Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations. State insurance laws regulate most aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses, and our insurance subsidiaries are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled and licensed. Our international operations are principally regulated by insurance regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled.

Insurance regulatory authorities in the U.S. and internationally have broad administrative powers with respect to, among other things:

 

   

licensing companies and agents to transact business;

 

   

calculating the value of assets to determine compliance with statutory requirements;

 

   

mandating certain insurance benefits;

 

   

regulating certain premium rates;

 

   

reviewing and approving policy forms;

 

   

regulating unfair trade and claims practices, including through the imposition of restrictions on marketing and sales practices, distribution arrangements and payment of inducements;

 

   

establishing and revising statutory capital and reserve requirements and solvency standards;

 

   

fixing maximum interest rates on insurance policy loans and minimum rates for guaranteed crediting rates on life insurance policies and annuity contracts;

 

   

approving future rate increases;

 

   

approving changes in control of insurance companies;

 

   

restricting the payment of dividends and other transactions between affiliates; and

 

   

regulating the types, amounts and valuation of investments.

State insurance regulators and the NAIC regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations applicable to insurance companies and their products. Changes in these laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof in the U.S., can be made for the benefit of the consumer at the expense of the insurer and thus could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our mortgage insurance businesses are subject to additional laws and regulations. For a discussion of the risks associated with those laws and regulations, see “—Risks Relating to Our International Segment” and “—Risks Relating to Our U.S. Mortgage Insurance Segment.”

 

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Legal and regulatory investigations and actions are common in the insurance business and may result in financial losses and harm our reputation.

We face a significant risk of litigation and regulatory investigations and actions in the ordinary course of operating our businesses, including the risk of class action lawsuits. Our pending legal and regulatory actions include proceedings specific to us and others generally applicable to business practices in the industries in which we operate. In our insurance operations, we are, have been, or may become subject to class actions and individual suits alleging, among other things, issues relating to sales or underwriting practices, payment of contingent or other sales commissions, claims payments and procedures, product design, product disclosure, administration, additional premium charges for premiums paid on a periodic basis, denial or delay of benefits, charging excessive or impermissible fees on products, recommending unsuitable products to customers, our pricing structures and business practices in our mortgage insurance businesses, such as captive reinsurance arrangements with lenders and contract underwriting services, violations of RESPA or related state anti-inducement laws and breaching fiduciary or other duties to customers. In our investment-related operations, we are subject to litigation involving commercial disputes with counterparties. We are also subject to litigation arising out of our general business activities such as our contractual and employment relationships. Plaintiffs in class action and other lawsuits against us may seek very large or indeterminate amounts, including punitive and treble damages, which may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. We are also subject to various regulatory inquiries, such as information requests, subpoenas and books and record examinations, from state, federal and international regulators and other authorities. A substantial legal liability or a significant regulatory action against us could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, even if we ultimately prevail in the litigation, regulatory action or investigation, we could suffer significant reputational harm, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

For further discussion of current investigations and proceedings in which we are involved, see “Item 3—Legal Proceedings.” We cannot assure you that these investigations and proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that we could become subject to further investigations and have lawsuits filed or enforcement actions initiated against us. In addition, increased regulatory scrutiny and any resulting investigations or proceedings could result in new legal precedents and industry-wide regulations or practices that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our computer systems may fail or their security may be compromised, which could damage our business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our business is highly dependent upon the effective operation of our computer systems. We rely on these systems throughout our business for a variety of functions, including processing claims and applications, providing information to customers and distributors, performing actuarial analyses and maintaining financial records. Despite the implementation of security and back-up measures, our computer systems may be vulnerable to physical or electronic intrusions, computer viruses or other attacks, programming errors and similar disruptive problems. The failure of these systems for any reason could cause significant interruptions to our operations, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We retain confidential information in our computer systems, and we rely on sophisticated commercial technologies to maintain the security of those systems. Anyone who is able to circumvent our security measures and penetrate our computer systems could access, view, misappropriate, alter, or delete any information in the systems, including personally identifiable customer information and proprietary business information. In addition, an increasing number of states and foreign countries require that customers be notified if a security breach results in the disclosure of personally identifiable customer information. Any compromise of the security of our computer systems that results in inappropriate disclosure of personally identifiable customer information could damage our reputation in the marketplace, deter people from purchasing our products, subject us to significant civil and criminal liability and require us to incur significant technical, legal and other expenses.

 

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The occurrence of natural or man-made disasters or a pandemic could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We are exposed to various risks arising out of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, and man-made disasters, including acts of terrorism and military actions and pandemics. For example, a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could lead to unexpected changes in persistency rates as policyholders and contractholders who are affected by the disaster may be unable to meet their contractual obligations, such as payment of premiums on our insurance policies, deposits into our investment products, and mortgage payments on loans insured by our mortgage insurance policies. They could also significantly increase our mortality and morbidity experience above the assumptions we used in pricing our insurance and investment products. The continued threat of terrorism and ongoing military actions may cause significant volatility in global financial markets, and a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could trigger an economic downturn in the areas directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. These consequences could, among other things, result in a decline in business and increased claims from those areas, as well as an adverse effect on home prices in those areas, which could result in increased loss experience in our mortgage insurance businesses. Disasters or a pandemic also could disrupt public and private infrastructure, including communications and financial services, which could disrupt our normal business operations.

A natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could also disrupt the operations of our counterparties or result in increased prices for the products and services they provide to us. For example, a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could lead to increased reinsurance prices and potentially cause us to retain more risk than we otherwise would retain if we were able to obtain reinsurance at lower prices. In addition, a disaster or a pandemic could adversely affect the value of the assets in our investment portfolio if it affects companies’ ability to pay principal or interest on their securities. See “—We may face losses if there are significant deviations from our assumptions regarding the future persistency of our insurance policies and annuity contracts” and “—A further deterioration in economic conditions or a further decline in home prices may adversely affect our loss experience in mortgage insurance.”

Risks Relating to Our Retirement and Protection Segment

We may face losses if morbidity rates or mortality rates differ significantly from our pricing expectations.

We set prices for our insurance and some annuity products based upon expected claims and payment patterns, using assumptions for, among other things, morbidity rates, or likelihood of sickness, and mortality rates, or likelihood of death, of our policyholders and contractholders. The long-term profitability of these products depends upon how our actual experience compares with our pricing assumptions. For example, if morbidity rates are higher, or mortality rates are lower, than our pricing assumptions, we could be required to make greater payments under long-term care insurance policies and annuity contracts than we had projected. Conversely, if mortality rates are higher than our pricing assumptions, we could be required to make greater payments under our life insurance policies and annuity contracts with GMDBs than we had projected.

The risk that our claims experience may differ significantly from our pricing assumptions is particularly significant for our long-term care insurance products. Long-term care insurance policies provide for long-duration coverage and, therefore, our actual claims experience will emerge over many years after pricing assumptions have been established. For example, changes in socio-demographics and behavioral trends may have an adverse impact on our future loss trends. Moreover, long-term care insurance does not have the extensive claims experience history of life insurance, and as a result, our ability to forecast future claim rates for long-term care insurance is more limited than for life insurance.

We may be required to accelerate the amortization of deferred acquisition costs and the present value of future profits, which would increase our expenses and reduce profitability.

DAC represents costs that vary with and are primarily related to the sale and issuance of our insurance policies and investment contracts that are deferred and amortized over the estimated life of the related insurance

 

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policies and investment contracts. These costs include commissions in excess of ultimate renewal commissions, solicitation and printing costs, sales material and some support costs, such as underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses. Under U.S. GAAP, DAC is subsequently amortized to income, over the lives of the underlying contracts, in relation to the anticipated recognition of premiums or gross profits. In addition, when we acquire a block of insurance policies or investment contracts, 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 present value of future profits (“PVFP”), represents the actuarially estimated present value of future cash flows from the acquired policies. We amortize the value of this intangible asset in a manner similar to the amortization of DAC.

Our amortization of DAC and PVFP generally depends upon anticipated profits from investments, surrender and other policy and contract charges, mortality, morbidity and maintenance expense margins. Unfavorable experience with regard to expected expenses, investment returns, mortality, morbidity, withdrawals or lapses may cause us to increase the amortization of DAC or PVFP, or both, or to record a charge to increase benefit reserves.

We regularly review DAC and PVFP to determine if they are recoverable from future income. If these costs are not recoverable, they are charged to expenses in the financial period in which we make this determination. For example, if we determine that we are unable to recover DAC from profits over the life of a block of insurance policies or annuity contracts, or if withdrawals or surrender charges associated with early withdrawals do not fully offset the unamortized acquisition costs related to those policies or annuities, we would be required to recognize the additional DAC amortization as an expense in the current period. Equity market volatility could result in additional losses in our variable annuity products and associated hedging program which will challenge our ability to recover DAC on these products and could lead to further write-offs of DAC.

Our reputation in the long-term care insurance market may be adversely affected by the rate actions currently being implemented on our in-force long-term care insurance products and by any rate actions we may take in the future.

Although the terms of all our long-term care insurance policies permit us to increase premiums during the premium-paying period, prior to our announced rate increase in July 2007, we had not increased premiums on any in-force long-term care insurance policies issued by us. Rate actions, by us or our competitors, could limit our ability to continue to market and sell new long-term care insurance products and our ability to retain existing policyholders, agents and independent channel market share. In addition, we cannot predict how our policyholders, agents and competitors may react to any rate actions we may take in the future.

Medical advances, such as genetic research and diagnostic imaging, and related legislation could adversely affect the financial performance of our life insurance, long-term care insurance and annuity businesses.

Genetic research includes procedures focused on identifying key genes that render an individual predisposed to specific diseases, such as particular types of cancer and other diseases. Other medical advances, such as diagnostic imaging technologies, also may be used to detect the early onset of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. We believe that if individuals learn through medical advances that they are predisposed to particular conditions that may reduce life longevity or require long-term care, they will be more likely to purchase our life and long-term care insurance policies or not to permit existing policies to lapse. In contrast, if individuals learn that they lack the genetic predisposition to develop the conditions that reduce longevity or require long-term care, they will be less likely to purchase our life and long-term care insurance products but more likely to purchase certain annuity products. In addition, such individuals that are existing policyholders will be more likely to permit their policies to lapse.

If we were to gain access to the same genetic or medical information as our prospective policyholders and contractholders, then we would be able to take this information into account in pricing our life and long-term care insurance policies and annuity contracts. However, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory actions and proposals that make, or could make, genetic and other medical information confidential and

 

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unavailable to insurance companies. Pursuant to these legislative and regulatory actions and proposals, prospective policyholders and contractholders would only disclose this information if they chose to do so voluntarily. These factors could lead us to reduce sales of products affected by these legislative and regulatory actions and proposals and could result in a deterioration of the risk profile of our portfolio, which could lead to payments to our policyholders and contractholders that are higher than we anticipated.

Medical advances could also lead to new forms of preventive care. Preventive care could extend the life and improve the overall health of individuals. If this were to occur, the duration of payments under certain of our annuity products likely would increase, thereby reducing profitability in that business.

We may face losses if there are significant deviations from our assumptions regarding the future persistency of our insurance policies and annuity contracts.

The prices and expected future profitability of our insurance and deferred annuity products are based in part upon expected patterns of premiums, expenses and benefits, using a number of assumptions, including those related to persistency, which is the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next. The effect of persistency on profitability varies for different products. For most of our life insurance and deferred annuity products, actual persistency that is lower than our persistency assumptions could have an adverse impact on profitability, primarily because we would be required to accelerate the amortization of expenses we deferred in connection with the acquisition of the policy or contract. For our universal life insurance policies, increased persistency that is the result of the sale of policies by the insured to third parties that continue to make premium payments on policies that would otherwise have lapsed, also known as life settlements, could have an adverse impact on profitability because of the higher claims rate associated with settled policies.

For our long-term care insurance and some other health insurance policies, actual persistency in later policy durations that is higher than our persistency assumptions could have a negative impact on profitability. If these policies remain in-force longer than we assumed, then we could be required to make greater benefit payments than we had anticipated when we priced these products. This risk is particularly significant in our long-term care insurance business because we do not have the experience history that we have in many of our other businesses. As a result, our ability to predict persistency for long-term care insurance is more limited than for many other products. Some of our long-term care insurance policies have experienced higher persistency than we had assumed, which has resulted in adverse claims experience.

Because our assumptions regarding persistency experience are inherently uncertain, reserves for future policy benefits and claims may prove to be inadequate if actual persistency experience is different from those assumptions. Although some of our products permit us to increase premiums during the life of the policy or contract, we cannot guarantee that these increases would be sufficient to maintain profitability or that such increases would be approved by regulators. Moreover, many of our products do not permit us to increase premiums or limit those increases during the life of the policy or contract. Significant deviations in experience from pricing expectations regarding persistency could have an adverse effect on the profitability of our products.

We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to continue to implement actions to mitigate the impact of Regulations XXX or AXXX and as a result we may incur higher operating costs that could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We have increased term and universal life insurance statutory reserves in response to the Model Regulation entitled “Valuation of Life Insurance Policies,” commonly known as “Regulation XXX,” and the Valuation of Life Insurance Policies Regulation, as clarified by Actuarial Guideline 38 (more commonly known as “Regulation AXXX”) and have taken steps to mitigate the impact the regulations have had on our business, including increasing premium rates and implementing capital solutions. We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to continue to implement actions to mitigate further impacts of Regulations XXX or AXXX on our term and universal life insurance products. Recent market conditions have limited the capacity or increased

 

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prices for these reserve funding options. If capacity continues to be limited for a prolonged period of time, our ability to obtain new funding for these structures may be hindered. Additionally, we cannot provide assurance that there will not be regulatory, tax or other challenges to the actions we have taken to date. The result of those potential challenges could require us to increase statutory reserves or incur higher operating and/or tax costs.

If demand for long-term care insurance either declines or remains flat, we may not be able to execute our strategy to expand our long-term care insurance business.

We have devoted significant resources to developing our long-term care insurance business and our growth strategy relies partly upon continued growth of the sale of this product. In recent years, industry sales of individual long-term care insurance have varied. In some years, sales have declined while in other years sales have grown moderately. Annualized first-year premiums for individual long-term care insurance achieved a historical high in 2002 at approximately $1.0 billion and decreased by 41% to approximately $608 million in 2006, according to LIMRA International, Inc. We believe that the decrease during this period was due primarily to decisions by several providers to cease offering long-term care insurance, to raise premiums on in-force policies and/or to introduce new products with higher prices. These actions resulted in decreased purchases of long-term care insurance products and have caused some distributors to reduce their sales focus on these products. Beginning in 2007, our individual long-term care insurance annualized first-year premiums have remained relatively flat, although sales in 2009 declined primarily due to general economic conditions that affected sales in the overall individual long-term care insurance industry. If the market for long-term care insurance continues to remain flat or declines, we may be unable to realize our growth strategy in this area and our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Risks Relating to Our International Segment

We have significant operations internationally that could be adversely affected by changes in political or economic stability or government policies where we operate.

We have a presence in more than 25 countries around the world. Global economic and regulatory developments could affect our business in many ways. For example, our operations are subject to local laws and regulations, which in many ways are similar to the state laws and regulations outlined above. Many of our international customers and independent sales intermediaries also operate in regulated environments. Changes in the regulations that affect their operations also may affect our business relationships with them and their ability to purchase or to distribute our products. These changes could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, compliance with applicable laws and regulations is time consuming and personnel-intensive, and changes in these laws and regulations may increase materially our direct and indirect compliance and other expenses of doing business, thus having an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Local economic conditions, including inflation, recession and currency fluctuations, as discussed above, also affect our international businesses. Political changes, some of which may be disruptive, can interfere with our customers and all of our activities in a particular location. Attempts to mitigate these risks can be costly and are not always successful.

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and international securities markets could negatively affect our profitability.

Our international operations generate revenues denominated in local currencies. For the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, 25%, 25% and 24%, respectively, of our revenues, excluding net investment gains (losses), and 160%, 116% and 43%, respectively, of our income from continuing operations, excluding net investment gains (losses), were generated by our international operations. We generally invest cash generated by our international operations in securities denominated in local currencies. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, approximately 15% and

 

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13%, respectively, of our invested assets were held by our international operations and were invested primarily in non-U.S.-denominated securities. Although investing in securities denominated in local currencies limits the effect of currency exchange rate fluctuation on local operating results, we remain exposed to the impact of fluctuations in exchange rates as we translate the operating results of our foreign operations into our consolidated financial statements. We currently do not hedge this exposure, and as a result, period-to-period comparability of our results of operations is affected by fluctuations in exchange rates. For example, our net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders for the year ended December 31, 2009 included an unfavorable impact of changes in foreign exchange rates of $33 million, net of taxes, as compared to a favorable impact of changes in foreign exchange rates of $20 million, net of taxes, for the year ended December 31, 2008. In addition, because we derive a significant portion of our income from non-U.S.-denominated revenue, our results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent the dollar value of non-U.S.-denominated revenue is reduced due to a strengthening of the U.S. dollar.

Our investments in non-U.S.-denominated securities are subject to fluctuations in non-U.S. securities and currency markets, and those markets can be volatile. Non-U.S. currency fluctuations also affect the value of any dividends paid by our non-U.S. subsidiaries to their parent companies in the U.S.

We may face higher than anticipated losses if unemployment rates differ significantly from our pricing expectations.

We set prices for our lifestyle protection insurance products based upon expected claims and payment patterns. For our employment-related products, these expectations reflect our assumptions regarding unemployment levels. The long-term profitability of many of these products depends upon how our actual experience compares with our pricing assumptions with the exception being many of our monthly premium accounts, where we have the ability to re-price our in-force policies in the event of higher than anticipated unemployment-related losses. If unemployment levels are higher than our pricing assumptions, the claims frequency could be higher for our lifestyle protection insurance business than we had projected. Additionally, rising unemployment rates can impact a borrower’s ability to pay their mortgage, thereby increasing the likelihood that we could incur additional losses in our international mortgage insurance business.

Our claims expenses would increase and our results of operations would suffer if the rate of defaults on mortgages covered by our mortgage insurance increases or the severity of such defaults exceeds our expectations.

As in the U.S., deterioration in economic conditions internationally may increase the likelihood that borrowers in a given country will not have sufficient income to pay their mortgages, and can also adversely affect home values, which increases our risk of loss. A decline in home prices, whether or not in conjunction with deteriorating economic conditions, would also increase our risk of loss. A substantial economic downturn or decline in home prices could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We also may be particularly affected by economic downturns or reversals of recent significant home price appreciation in areas where a large portion of our business is concentrated.

A significant portion of our international mortgage insurance risk in-force consists of loans with high loan-to-value ratios, which generally result in more and larger claims than loans with lower loan-to-value ratios.

Mortgage loans with higher loan-to-value ratios typically have claim incidence rates substantially higher than mortgage loans with lower loan-to-value ratios. In Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the risks of having a portfolio with a significant portion of high loan-to-value mortgages are greater than in the U.S. and Europe because we generally agree to cover 100% of the losses associated with mortgage defaults in those markets, compared to percentages in the U.S. and Europe that are typically 12% to 35% of the loan amount.

Although mortgage insurance premiums for higher loan-to-value ratio loans generally are higher than for loans with lower loan-to-value ratios, the difference in premium rates may not be sufficient to compensate us for the enhanced risks associated with mortgage loans bearing higher loan-to-value ratios.

 

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Our international mortgage insurance business is subject to substantial competition from government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises, and this may put us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing and other terms and conditions.

Like our U.S. mortgage insurance business, our international mortgage insurance business competes with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises. In Canada, we compete with CMHC, a Crown corporation owned by the Canadian government. In Europe, these enterprises include public mortgage guarantee facilities in a number of countries. Like government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises in the U.S., these competitors may establish pricing terms and business practices that may be influenced by motives such as advancing social housing policy or stabilizing the mortgage lending industry, which may not be consistent with maximizing return on capital or other profitability measures. In the event that a government-owned or sponsored entity in one of our markets determines to reduce prices significantly or alter the terms and conditions of its mortgage insurance or other credit enhancement products in furtherance of social or other goals rather than a profit motive, we may be unable to compete in that market effectively, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See “—We compete with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, and this may put us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing and other terms and conditions.”

In Canada, CMHC is a sovereign entity that provides mortgage lenders with 100% capital relief from bank regulatory requirements on loans that it insures. In contrast, lenders receive only 90% capital relief on loans we insure. CMHC also operates the Canadian Mortgage Bond Program, which provides lenders the ability to efficiently guaranty and securitize their mortgage loan portfolios. If we are unable to effectively distinguish ourselves competitively with our Canadian mortgage lender customers, under current market conditions or in the future, we may be unable to compete effectively with CMHC as a result of the more favorable capital relief it can provide or the other products and incentives that it offers to lenders.

Recent conditions in the international financial markets could lead other countries to nationalize our competitors or establish competing governmental agencies, which would further limit our competitive position in international markets and, therefore, materially affect our results of operations.

Changes in regulations could affect our international operations significantly and could reduce the demand for mortgage insurance.

In addition to the general regulatory risks that are described above under “—Our insurance businesses are heavily regulated and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth,” we are also affected by various additional regulations relating particularly to our international mortgage insurance operations.

In the second quarter of 2008, the aggregate cap for guaranteed polices of all Canadian licensed mortgage insurers was increased to CDN $250.0 billion, which facilitates our ongoing ability to offer mortgage insurance products under the Government Guarantee Agreement. The failure of the Canadian government to maintain the Government Guarantee Agreement on terms similar to the current Government Guarantee Agreement could have an adverse effect on our ability to offer mortgage insurance products in Canada and could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In July 2008, the Government of Canada announced adjustments to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages. We have incorporated these adjustments into our underwriting guidelines effective October 15, 2008. These new standards have resulted in a modest reduction of mortgage originations in Canada. In 2009, the Canadian government passed legislation, which has not yet been proclaimed in force, that will, among other things, amend the statutes applicable to federally regulated lenders to prohibit such lenders from charging borrowers amounts for mortgage insurance that exceed the lender’s actual costs and impose new disclosure obligations in respect of mortgage insurance. In February 2010, the Canadian government publicly announced additional changes to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages, which are more fully described above under “International Mortgage Insurance – Canada – Government Guarantee.”

 

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As also described under “International Mortgage Insurance – Canada – Government Guarantee,” an amendment to the Government Guarantee Agreement has been completed. The Canadian Department of Finance has informed us that they intend to continue to review the Government Guarantee Agreement and we remain engaged in ongoing discussions with Department of Finance officials on this matter. Although we believe the Canadian government will preserve the Government Guarantee Agreement in order to maintain competition in the Canadian mortgage industry, we cannot be sure what, if any, changes will be made to the terms of the Government Guarantee Agreement.

APRA regulates all financial institutions in Australia, including general, life and mortgage insurance companies. APRA also determines the minimum regulatory capital requirements for depository institutions. APRA’s current regulations provide for reduced capital requirements for certain depository institutions that insure residential mortgages with an “acceptable” mortgage insurer for all non-standard mortgages and for standard mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 80%. APRA’s regulations currently set out a number of circumstances in which a loan may be considered to be non-standard from a depository institution’s perspective.

Under rules adopted by APRA effective January 1, 2008, in connection with the revisions to a set of regulatory rules and procedures governing global bank capital standards that were introduced by the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, known as Basel II, certain approved deposit-taking institutions (“ADIs”) in Australia are now required to hold less capital on high loan-to-value mortgage loans and will receive a capital incentive for using mortgage insurance, but at a reduced level, and potentially limited to the higher risk portions of their loan portfolios, when compared to previous regulations in Australia. The rules also provide that ADIs would need to acquire mortgage insurance coverage levels lower than existing requirements in order to obtain these reduced capital incentives. Accordingly, lenders in Australia may be able to reduce their use of mortgage insurance for high loan-to-value ratio mortgages, or limit their use to the higher risk portions of their portfolios, which may have an adverse affect on our Australian mortgage insurance business.

Basel II was finalized and issued in June 2004; however, its adoption and implementation by individual countries internationally and in the U.S. is ongoing and significant additions and changes to the accord are being considered in light of the recent financial crisis. Since the Basel II framework continues to evolve, we cannot predict the mortgage insurance benefits that ultimately will be provided to lenders, or how any such benefits may affect the opportunities for the growth of mortgage insurance. If countries implement Basel II in a manner that does not reward lenders for using mortgage insurance as a credit risk mitigant on high loan-to-value mortgage loans, or if lenders conclude that mortgage insurance does not provide sufficient capital incentives, then we may have to revise our product offerings to meet the new requirements and our results of operations may be adversely affected.

Risks Relating to Our U.S. Mortgage Insurance Segment

Our claims expenses and loss reserves have increased in recent periods and could continue to increase if the rate of defaults on mortgages covered by our mortgage insurance continues to increase, and in some cases we expect that paid claims and loss reserves will increase.

During 2007, 2008 and 2009, we have experienced an increase in paid claims and increases in loss reserves as a result of a significant increase in delinquencies and foreclosures in our more recent books of business, particularly those of 2005, 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008. This impact was evident in all products across all regions of the country and was particularly evident in our A minus, Alt-A, ARMs and certain 100% loan-to-value products in Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada. In addition, throughout the U.S., we have experienced an increase in the average loan balance of mortgage loans, including on delinquent loans, as well as a significant decline in home price appreciation, which has turned negative in the majority of U.S. markets. Certain regions around the country, particularly Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan, continue to experience an economic slowdown.

 

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The foregoing factors have contributed to, and are expected to continue to contribute to, an increase in our incurred losses and loss reserves. While over 92% of our primary risk in-force in the U.S. is considered prime, based on FICO credit scores of the underlying mortgage loans, continued low or negative home price appreciation, coupled with worsening economic conditions, is likely to cause further increases in our incurred losses and related loss ratios. As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, approximately 58% and 68%, respectively, of our U.S. mortgage insurance risk in-force had not yet reached its anticipated highest claim frequency years, which are generally between the third and seventh year of the loan. As a result, we expect our loss experience will increase as policies continue to age. If the claim frequency on the risk in-force significantly exceeds the claim frequency that was assumed in setting premium rates, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows would be adversely affected.

If unemployment peaks in 2010 coupled with continued elevated levels of unemployment into 2011, we would expect further increases in delinquencies and foreclosures to cause upward pressure on our paid claims and loss reserves. With respect to home prices, while housing inventory has demonstrated some improvement in recent months, the inventory of available homes has increased. The inventory of homes on the market is expected to rise substantially as vacant properties make their way through the foreclosure process. As these homes eventually make their way through an already strained and unpredictable foreclosure cycle and increase an already high level of inventory of homes available for sale, we expect home prices to be pressured downward depending upon the level and timing of this process. These conditions could result in an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

Our premium rates vary with the perceived risk of a claim on the insured loan, which takes into account factors such as the loan-to-value ratio, our long-term historical loss experience, whether the mortgage provides for fixed payments or variable payments, the term of the mortgage, the borrower’s credit history and the level of documentation and verification of the borrower’s income and assets. Our ability to properly determine eligibility and accurate pricing for the mortgage insurance we issue is dependent upon our underwriting and other operational routines. These underwriting routines may vary across the jurisdictions in which we do business. Deficiencies in actual practice in this area could have an adverse impact on our results. We establish renewal premium rates for the life of a mortgage insurance policy upon issuance, and we cannot cancel the policy or adjust the premiums after the policy is issued. As a result, we cannot offset the impact of unanticipated claims with premium increases on policies in-force, and we cannot refuse to renew mortgage insurance coverage. The premiums we agree to charge upon writing a mortgage insurance policy may not adequately compensate us for the risks and costs associated with the coverage we provide for the entire life of that policy.

Certain types of mortgages have higher probabilities of claims. These include Alt-A loans, loans with an initial Interest Only payment option and other non-traditional loans that we have insured in prior years, including A minus loans and 100% loan-to-value products. Alt-A loans are originated under programs in which there are a reduced level of verification or disclosure of the borrower’s income or assets and a higher historical and expected default rate than standard documentation loans. Standard documentation loans include loans with reduced or different documentation requirements that meet specifications of GSE approved underwriting systems with historical and expected delinquency rates consistent with our standard portfolio. The Interest Only payment option allows the borrower flexibility to pay interest only or pay interest and as much principal as desired, during an initial period of time. A minus loans generally are loans where the borrowers have FICO credit scores between 575 and 660, and where the borrower has a blemished credit history. A material portion of our Alt-A and Interest Only loans was written in 2005 through 2007. At the end of 2007, we began to adopt changes to our underwriting guidelines to substantially eliminate new insurance on these loans. However, the new guidelines only affect business written after those guidelines became effective. Business written before the effectiveness of those guidelines was insured in accordance with the guidelines in effect at time of the commitment, even though that business would not meet the new guidelines. Although historical information is limited, we believe that Alt-A and Interest Only loans written prior to the adoption of the new guidelines may pose a higher risk of claims that would have an adverse impact on our operating results due to features such as deferred amortization of the loan principal on an Interest Only product and Interest Only loans that contain an adjustable interest rate feature and

 

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may reset to a rate above the existing rate. If defaults on Alt-A or Interest Only or other non-traditional loans are higher than the assumptions we made in pricing our mortgage insurance on those loans, then we would be required to make greater claims payments than we had projected, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We expect to continue to investigate insured U.S. mortgage loans and in some cases may rescind coverage, although we cannot give assurance on the extent to which we may continue to realize benefits from rescissions.

As part of our loss mitigation efforts, we routinely investigate insured loans to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines and to detect possible fraud or misrepresentation. As a result, we have, and may in the future, rescind coverage on loans that do not meet our guidelines. In recent periods, we have recognized significant benefits from rescinding policies for insured loans. While we believe our rescissions are valid and expect additional rescissions based on future investigations, we can give no assurance on the extent to which we may continue to realize benefits from rescissions. In addition, insured lenders may object to our decision to rescind coverage and we continue to have discussions with certain of those lenders regarding their objections to our rescission actions that in the aggregate are material. If disputed by the insured and a legal proceeding were instituted, the validity of that rescission would be determined by arbitration or judicial proceedings unless otherwise settled. Further, our loss reserving methodology includes estimates of the number of loans in our delinquency inventory that will be rescinded. A variance between ultimate rescission rates and these estimates could significantly affect our financial position and results of operations. In the near term, sales could be reduced or eliminated as a result of a dispute with one or more lenders and such disputes could have an adverse effect on our long-term relationships with those lenders that are impacted.

The extent to which loan modifications and other similar programs may provide benefits to our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment is uncertain.

The mortgage finance industry (with government support) has adopted programs to modify loans to make them more affordable to borrowers with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures. The effect on us of a loan modification depends on re-default rates, which in turn can be affected by factors such as changes in housing values and unemployment. We cannot predict what the ultimate re-default rate will be, and therefore, we cannot be certain whether these programs will provide material benefits to us. Our estimates of the number of loans qualifying for modification programs are inherently uncertain. Various government entities and private parties have enacted foreclosure moratoriums. Although a moratorium does not affect the accrual of interest and other expenses on a loan, our master insurance policies contain covenants that require cooperation and loss mitigation by insured lenders. Unless a loan is modified during a moratorium to cure the default, at the expiration of the moratorium additional interest and expenses would be due which could result in our losses on loans subject to the moratorium being higher than if there had been no moratorium.

We may face higher than anticipated losses if unemployment rates differ significantly from our expectations.

We set loss reserves for our U.S. mortgage insurance business based in part on expected claims and delinquency cure rate patterns. These expectations reflect our assumptions regarding unemployment levels. If unemployment levels are higher than those within our loss reserving assumptions, the claims frequency could be higher for our U.S. mortgage insurance business than we had projected. Additionally, rising unemployment rates can impact a borrower’s ability to pay their mortgage, thereby increasing the likelihood that we could incur a loss in our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

A further deterioration in economic conditions or a further decline in home prices may adversely affect our loss experience in mortgage insurance.

Losses in our U.S. mortgage insurance business generally result from events, such as reduction of income, unemployment, divorce, illness and inability to manage credit and interest rate levels that reduce a borrower’s

 

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ability to continue to make mortgage payments. The amount of the loss we suffer, if any, depends in part on whether the home of a borrower who defaults on a mortgage can be sold for an amount that will cover unpaid principal and interest and the expenses of the sale. A deterioration in economic conditions generally increases the likelihood that borrowers will not have sufficient income to pay their mortgages and can also adversely affect housing values, which increases our risk of loss. A decline in home prices, whether or not in conjunction with deteriorating economic conditions, may also increase our risk of loss.

Many regions throughout the U.S. have experienced an economic slowdown and have seen a more pronounced weakness in their housing markets, as well as declines in home prices. This slowdown and the resulting impact on the housing markets are reflected in our increasing delinquencies. However, we believe that there may be a lag in the rate at which delinquent loans are going to foreclosure due to various local and lender foreclosure moratoria as well as servicer and court-related backlog issues. As these loans eventually go to foreclosure, our delinquency counts will be reduced and our paid claims will increase accordingly. In addition, foreclosure moratoria could cause our losses to increase as expenses accrue for longer periods or if the value of foreclosed homes further decline during such delays. If we experience an increase in delinquencies that is higher than expected, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Any changes to the role or structure of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae could have an adverse impact on our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

In September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) was appointed conservator of the GSEs. Congress has stated its intent to examine the role of the GSEs in the U.S. housing market, and the Obama administration has also stated that it is considering options regarding the future status of the GSEs. If legislation is enacted that reduces or eliminates the need for the GSEs to obtain credit enhancement on above 80% loan-to-value loans or that otherwise reduces or eliminates the role of the GSEs in single family housing finance, the demand for private mortgage insurance in the U.S. could be significantly reduced.

We compete with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, and this may put us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing and other terms and conditions.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance business competes with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises, including the FHA and, to a lesser degree, the VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as local and state housing finance agencies. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of loans insured by the FHA.

Those competitors may establish pricing terms and business practices that may be influenced by motives such as advancing social housing policy or stabilizing the mortgage lending industry, which may not be consistent with maximizing return on capital or other profitability measures. In addition, those governmental enterprises typically do not have the same capital requirements that we and other mortgage insurance companies have and therefore may have financial flexibility in their pricing and capacity that could put us at a competitive disadvantage. In the event that a government-owned or sponsored entity in one of our markets determines to reduce prices significantly or alter the terms and conditions of its mortgage insurance or other credit enhancement products in furtherance of social or other goals rather than a profit or risk management motive, we may be unable to compete in that market effectively, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in regulations that affect the U.S. mortgage insurance business could affect our operations significantly and could reduce the demand for mortgage insurance.

In addition to the general regulatory risks that are described above under “—Our insurance businesses are heavily regulated and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth,” we are also affected by various additional regulations relating particularly to our mortgage insurance operations.

 

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U.S. federal and state regulations affect the scope of our competitors’ operations, which has an effect on the size of the mortgage insurance market and the intensity of the competition in our mortgage insurance business. This competition includes not only other private mortgage insurers, but also U.S. federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, principally the FHA, and to a lesser degree, the VA, which are governed by federal regulations. Increases in the maximum loan amount that the FHA can insure, and reductions in the mortgage insurance premiums the FHA charges, can reduce the demand for private mortgage insurance. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 temporarily raised the FHA loan limits, in some cases up to the GSE limits, including the limits for loans in high-cost areas of the country. In addition, the HUD secretary was granted discretionary authority to raise such limits an additional $100,000. The FHA has also streamlined its down-payment formula and made FHA insurance more competitive with private mortgage insurance in areas with higher home prices. These and other legislative and regulatory changes could cause demand for private mortgage insurance to decrease.

Conversely, we believe the revisions to Basel II may encourage growth of mortgage insurance in the U.S. Basel II adoption in the U.S. is ongoing. Therefore, we cannot predict the benefits that ultimately will be provided to lenders, or how any such benefits may affect the opportunities for the growth of mortgage insurance. If the U.S. implements Basel II in a manner that does not reward lenders for using mortgage insurance as a credit risk mitigant on high loan-to-value mortgage loans, or if lenders conclude that mortgage insurance does not provide sufficient capital incentives, then we may have to revise our product offerings to meet the new requirements and our results of operations may be adversely affected.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance business, as a credit enhancement provider in the residential mortgage lending industry, also is subject to compliance with various federal and state consumer protection and insurance laws, including RESPA, the ECOA, the FHA, the Homeowners Protection Act, the FCRA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and others. Among other things, these laws prohibit payments for referrals of settlement service business, providing services to lenders for no or reduced fees or payments for services not actually performed, require fairness and non-discrimination in granting or facilitating the granting of credit, require cancellation of insurance and refund of unearned premiums under certain circumstances, govern the circumstances under which companies may obtain and use consumer credit information, and define the manner in which companies may pursue collection activities. Changes in these laws or regulations could adversely affect the operations and profitability of our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

In May 2002, the OTS amended its capital regulations to remove the 80% loan-to-value standard from the definition of “qualifying mortgage loan,” instead incorporating the federal Interagency Guidelines for Real Estate lending, which do not contain an explicit loan-to-value standard but provide that an institution should require credit enhancement for a loan with a loan-to-value equal to or exceeding 90%. The capital regulations assign a lower risk weight to qualifying mortgage loans than to non-qualifying loans. As a result, these amended regulations no longer penalize OTS-regulated institutions for retaining loans that have loan-to-value ratios between 80% and 90% without credit enhancements. Other regulators, including the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, also do not explicitly refer to a loan-to-value standard but do refer to the Interagency Guidelines.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a small number of large mortgage lenders exert significant influence over the U.S. mortgage insurance market.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance products protect mortgage lenders and investors from default-related losses on residential first mortgage loans made primarily to home buyers with high loan-to-value mortgages, generally, those home buyers who make down payments of less than 20% of their home’s purchase price. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased approximately 70%, 60% and 44% for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively, of all the mortgage loans originated in the U.S., according to statistics published by Inside Mortgage Finance. We believe the increase in the percentage of mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has increased the market size for flow private mortgage insurance during 2009. However, while

 

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Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s purchase activity increased in 2009, mortgage insurance penetration did not increase proportionately due to a combination of tighter mortgage insurance guidelines and the impact of GSE loan-level pricing on high loan-to-value loans. Changes by the GSEs in underwriting requirements or pricing terms on mortgage purchases could affect the market size for private mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s charters generally prohibit them from purchasing any mortgage with a face amount that exceeds 80% of the home’s value, unless that mortgage is insured by a qualified insurer or the mortgage seller retains at least a 10% participation in the loan or agrees to repurchase the loan in the event of default. As a result, high loan-to-value mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac generally are insured with private mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac independently establish eligibility standards for U.S. mortgage insurers. The provisions in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s charters create much of the demand for private mortgage insurance in the U.S. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also subject to regulatory oversight by HUD and the FHFA. As of December 31, 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased the majority of the flow mortgage loans that we insured. As a result, a change in the charter provisions or other statutes or regulations relating to their purchase or guarantee activity, as well as to the mortgage insurer eligibility standards, could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Increasing consolidation among mortgage lenders, including the recent mergers in the U.S. banking industry, will continue to result in significant customer concentration for U.S. mortgage insurers. As a result of this significant concentration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the largest mortgage lenders possess substantial market power, which enables them to influence our business and the mortgage insurance industry in general. Although we actively monitor and develop our relationships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and our largest mortgage lending customers, a deterioration in any of these relationships, or the loss of business from any of our key customers, could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, if the FHLBs reduce their purchases of mortgage loans, purchase uninsured mortgage loans or use other credit-enhancement products, this could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

A decrease in the volume of high loan-to-value home mortgage originations or an increase in the volume of mortgage insurance cancellations could result in a decline in our revenue.

We provide mortgage insurance primarily for high loan-to-value mortgages. Factors that could lead to a decrease in the volume of high loan-to-value mortgage originations include:

 

   

a change in the level of home mortgage interest rates;

 

   

a decline in economic conditions generally, or in conditions in regional and local economies;

 

   

the level of consumer confidence, which may be adversely affected by economic instability, war or terrorist events;

 

   

declines in the price of homes;

 

   

adverse population trends, including lower homeownership rates;

 

   

high rates of home price appreciation, which in times of heavy refinancing affect whether refinanced loans have loan-to-value ratios that require mortgage insurance; and

 

   

changes in government housing policy encouraging loans to first-time home buyers.

Many of these factors have emerged in the current economic downturn. A decline in the volume of high loan-to-value mortgage originations would reduce the demand for mortgage insurance and, therefore, could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, a significant percentage of the premiums we earn each year in our U.S. mortgage insurance business are renewal premiums from insurance policies written in previous years. We estimate that approximately 96%, 85% and 76% of our U.S. gross premiums earned in each of the years ended December 31,

 

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2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively, were renewal premiums. As a result, the length of time insurance remains in-force is an important determinant of our mortgage insurance revenues. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and many other mortgage investors in the U.S. generally permit a homeowner to ask his loan servicer to cancel his mortgage insurance when the principal amount of the mortgage falls below 80% of the home’s value. Factors that tend to reduce the length of time our mortgage insurance remains in-force include:

 

   

declining interest rates, which may result in the refinancing of the mortgages underlying our insurance policies with new mortgage loans that may not require mortgage insurance or that we do not insure;

 

   

significant appreciation in the value of homes, which causes the size of the mortgage to decrease below 80% of the value of the home and enables the borrower to request cancellation of the mortgage insurance; and

 

   

changes in mortgage insurance cancellation requirements under applicable federal law or mortgage insurance cancellation practices by mortgage lenders and investors.

Our U.S. policy persistency rates increased from 46% for the year ended December 31, 2003 to 79%, 85% and 84% for the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. A decrease in persistency in the U.S. generally would reduce the amount of our insurance in-force and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. However, higher persistency on certain products, especially A minus, Alt-A, ARMs and certain 100% loan-to-value loans, could have an adverse effect if claims generated by such products continue to increase.

The amount of mortgage insurance we write could decline significantly if alternatives to private mortgage insurance are used or lower coverage levels of mortgage insurance are selected.

There are a variety of alternatives to private mortgage insurance that may reduce the amount of mortgage insurance we write. These alternatives include:

 

   

originating mortgages that consist of two simultaneous loans, known as “simultaneous seconds,” comprising a first mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of 80% and a simultaneous second mortgage for the excess portion of the loan, instead of a single mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of more than 80%;

 

   

using government mortgage insurance programs, including those of the FHA and the VA;

 

   

holding mortgages in the lenders’ own loan portfolios and self-insuring;

 

   

using programs, such as those offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, requiring lower mortgage insurance coverage levels;

 

   

originating and securitizing loans in mortgage-backed securities whose underlying mortgages are not insured with private mortgage insurance or which are structured so that the risk of default lies with the investor, rather than a private mortgage insurer; and

 

   

using credit default swaps or similar instruments, instead of private mortgage insurance, to transfer credit risk on mortgages.

A decline in the use of private mortgage insurance in connection with high loan-to-value home mortgages for any reason would reduce the demand for flow mortgage insurance.

We cede a portion of our U.S. mortgage insurance business to mortgage reinsurance companies affiliated with our mortgage lending customers, and this could reduce our profitability.

We, like other mortgage insurers, offer opportunities to our mortgage lending customers that are designed to allow them to participate in the risks and rewards of the mortgage insurance business. Many of the major mortgage lenders with which we do business have established captive mortgage reinsurance subsidiaries. These

 

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reinsurance subsidiaries assume a portion of the risks associated with the lender’s insured mortgage loans in exchange for a percentage of the premiums. In most cases, our reinsurance coverage is an “excess of loss” arrangement with a limited band of exposure for the reinsurer. This means that we are required to pay the first layer of losses arising from defaults in the covered mortgages, the reinsurer indemnifies us for the next layer of losses, and we pay any losses in excess of the reinsurer’s obligations. The effect of these arrangements historically has been a reduction in the profitability and return on capital of this business to us. We advised each captive reinsurer with whom we do business under an excess of loss arrangement that effective January 1, 2009 we will reinsure only on a quota share basis. For the year ended December 31, 2009, approximately 3% of our U.S. primary new risk written was subject to captive mortgage reinsurance as compared to approximately 33% for the year ended December 31, 2008. U.S. mortgage insurance premiums ceded to these reinsurers were $153 million, $188 million and $164 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. U.S. mortgage insurance loss reserves ceded to these reinsurers were $673 million, $505 million and $3 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. These arrangements can either favorably or unfavorably affect our profitability within a given calendar year depending upon whether or not the reinsurer’s layer of coverage is attaching and whether or not there are sufficient assets in the captive trust available for payment of claims, thereby covering some portion of losses.

Given the recent business changes to captive reinsurance arrangements, at the end of 2008, the majority of our excess of loss captive reinsurance arrangements was in runoff with no new books of business expected to be added going forward. Additionally, throughout 2009, many lender captive reinsurers have chosen to place their captives into runoff as well. Nonetheless, we will continue to benefit from captive reinsurance on our 2005 through 2007 books of business.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance business could be adversely affected by legal actions under RESPA.

From time to time, lawsuits, including some that were class actions, have challenged the actions of private mortgage insurers, including our company and lenders, under RESPA. We cannot predict whether plaintiffs will institute new litigation seeking damages or relief under RESPA. In addition, U.S. federal and state officials are authorized to enforce RESPA and to seek civil and criminal penalties, and we cannot predict whether these proceedings might be brought against us or other mortgage insurers. Any such proceedings could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Potential liabilities in connection with our U.S. contract underwriting services could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We offer contract underwriting services to many of our mortgage lenders in the U.S., pursuant to which our employees and contractors work directly with the lender to determine whether the data relating to a borrower and a proposed loan contained in a mortgage loan application file complies with the lender’s loan underwriting guidelines or the investor’s loan purchase requirements. In connection with that service, we also compile the application data and submit it to the automated underwriting systems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which independently analyze the data to determine if the proposed loan complies with their investor requirements.

Under the terms of our contract underwriting agreements, we agree to indemnify the lender against losses incurred in the event that we make material errors in determining whether loans processed by our contract underwriters meet specified underwriting or purchase criteria, subject to contractual limitations on liability. As a result, we assume credit and interest rate risk in connection with our contract underwriting services. Worsening economic conditions, a deterioration in the quality of our underwriting services or other factors could cause our contract underwriting liabilities to increase and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Although we have established reserves to provide for potential claims in connection with our contract underwriting services, we have limited historical experience that we can use to establish reserves for these potential liabilities, and these reserves may not be adequate to cover liabilities that may arise.

 

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Other Risks

We have agreed to make payments to GE based on the projected amounts of certain tax savings we expect to realize as a result of our IPO. We will remain obligated to make these payments even if we do not realize the related tax savings and the payments could be accelerated in the event of certain changes in control.

Under the Tax Matters Agreement, we have an obligation to pay GE a fixed amount over approximately the next 14 years. This fixed obligation, the estimated present value of which was $351 million and $358 million as of December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively, equals 80% (subject to a cumulative $640 million maximum amount) of the tax savings projected as a result of our IPO. Even if we fail to generate sufficient taxable income to realize the projected tax savings, we will remain obligated to pay GE, and this could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We could also, subject to regulatory approval, be required to pay GE on an accelerated basis in the event of certain changes in control of our company.

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and our Tax Matters Agreement with GE may discourage takeover attempts and business combinations that stockholders might consider in their best interests.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions that may have anti-takeover effects and may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt that our stockholders might consider in their best interests. For example, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws:

 

   

permit our Board of Directors to issue one or more series of preferred stock;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to remove directors;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to fill vacancies on our Board of Directors;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders and take action by written consent; and

 

   

impose advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations of directors to be considered at stockholder meetings.

Under our Tax Matters Agreement with GE, if any person or group of persons other than GE or its affiliates gains the power to direct the management and policies of our company, we could become obligated immediately to pay to GE the total present value of all remaining tax benefit payments due to GE over the full term of the agreement. The estimated present value of our fixed obligation as of December 31, 2009 and 2008 was $351 million and $358 million, respectively. Similarly, if any person or group of persons other than us or our affiliates gains effective control of one of our subsidiaries, we could become obligated to pay to GE the total present value of all such payments due to GE allocable to that subsidiary, unless the subsidiary assumes the obligation to pay these future amounts under the Tax Matters Agreement and certain conditions are met. The acceleration of payments would be subject to the approval of certain state insurance regulators, and we are obligated to use our reasonable best efforts to seek these approvals. This feature of the agreement could adversely affect a potential merger or sale of our company. It could also limit our flexibility to dispose of one or more of our subsidiaries, with adverse implications for any business strategy dependent on such dispositions.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock

The Board of Directors has decided to suspend dividends on our common stock until further notice.

We paid quarterly dividends on our common stock since our IPO in May 2004 until November 2008 when the Board of Directors decided to suspend the payment of dividends on our common stock to enhance our liquidity and capital position in the current challenging environment. We cannot assure you when, whether or at what level we will resume paying dividends on our common stock.

 

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Our stock price will fluctuate.

Stock markets in general, and our common stock in particular, have experienced significant price and volume volatility in late 2008 and in 2009. The market price and volume of our common stock may continue to be subject to significant fluctuations due not only to general stock market conditions but also to a change in sentiment in the market regarding our industry generally, as well as our operations, business prospects, liquidity and capital positions. In addition to the risk factors discussed above, the price and volume volatility of our common stock may be affected by:

 

   

operating results for future periods that vary from the expectations of securities analysts and investors;

 

   

operating and securities price performance of companies that investors consider to be comparable to us;

 

   

announcements of strategic developments, acquisitions and other material events by us or our competitors; and

 

   

changes in global financial markets and global economies and general market conditions, such as interest or foreign exchange rates, availability of credit, equity prices and the value of financial assets.

Stock price volatility and a decrease in our stock price could make it difficult for us to raise equity capital or, if we are able to raise equity capital, could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

We have no unresolved comments from the staff of the SEC.

 

Item 2. Properties

We own our headquarters facility in Richmond, Virginia, which consists of approximately 461,187 square feet in four buildings, as well as several facilities in Lynchburg, Virginia with approximately 450,361 square feet. In addition, we lease approximately 593,099 square feet of office space in 38 locations throughout the U.S. We also own one building outside the U.S. with approximately 4,560 square feet, and we lease approximately 428,351 square feet in 49 locations outside the U.S.

Most of our leases in the U.S. and other countries have lease terms of three to five years, although some leases have terms of up to 12 remaining years. Our aggregate annual rental expense under all leases was $26 million during the year ended December 31, 2009.

We believe our properties are adequate for our business as presently conducted.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

We face a significant risk of litigation and regulatory investigations and actions in the ordinary course of operating our businesses, including the risk of class action lawsuits. Our pending legal and regulatory actions include proceedings specific to us and others generally applicable to business practices in the industries in which we operate. In our insurance operations, we are, have been, or may become subject to class actions and individual suits alleging, among other things, issues relating to sales or underwriting practices, payment of contingent or other sales commissions, bidding practices in connection with our management and administration of a third-party’s municipal guaranteed investment contract business, claims payments and procedures, product design, product disclosure, administration, additional premium charges for premiums paid on a periodic basis, denial or delay of benefits, charging excessive or impermissible fees on products, recommending unsuitable products to customers, our pricing structures and business practices in our mortgage insurance business, such as capital reinsurance arrangements with lenders and contract underwriting services, violations of RESPA or related state anti-inducement laws, and breaching fiduciary or other duties to customers. Plaintiffs in class action and other lawsuits against us may seek very large or indeterminate amounts, including punitive and treble damages, which

 

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may remain unknown for substantial periods of time. In our investment-related operations, we are subject to litigation involving commercial disputes with counterparties. We are also subject to litigation arising out of our general business activities such as our contractual and employment relationships. We are also subject to various regulatory inquiries, such as information requests, subpoenas, books and record examinations and market conduct and financial examinations from state, federal and international regulators and other authorities. A substantial legal liability or a significant regulatory action against us could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, even if we ultimately prevail in the litigation, regulatory action or investigation, we could suffer significant reputational harm, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In May 2005, each of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries received an information request from the State of New York Insurance Department with respect to captive reinsurance transactions with lender-affiliated reinsurers and other types of arrangements in which lending institutions receive from our subsidiaries any form of payment, compensation or other consideration in connection with issuance of a policy covering a mortgagor of the lending institution. In February 2006, we received a follow-up industry-wide inquiry from New York requesting supplemental information. In addition, in early 2006 as part of an industry-wide review, one of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries received an administrative subpoena from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction over insurance matters, with respect to our reinsurance arrangements, including captive reinsurance transactions. In addition, in June 2008, the same subsidiary received from the Minneapolis, Minnesota office of the Inspector General for HUD, a subpoena requesting information substantially similar to the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s request. Since 2008, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has periodically requested additional information. We have responded to these industry-wide regulatory inquiries and follow-up inquiries, and will cooperate with respect to any follow-up requests or inquiries.

In November 2006, one of our subsidiaries received a grand jury subpoena from the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and a subpoena from the SEC, each requiring the production of documents and information related to an investigation into alleged bid-rigging involving the sale of GICs to municipalities. In June 2008, the same subsidiary also received subpoenas from the Office of the Florida Attorney General and the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, representing multiple state Attorney General offices, seeking information relating to an investigation into alleged antitrust violations involving the sale of GICs to municipalities. We have not issued and do not currently issue GICs to municipalities, but from January 2004 to December 2006, our subsidiary provided management and administrative services to a third-party that does issue GICs to municipalities. We are cooperating fully with respect to these investigations and responding to the subpoenas.

Between March and December 2008, we and/or the same subsidiary were named along with several other GIC industry participants as a defendant in several class action and non-class action lawsuits alleging antitrust and other violations (including, in certain of the cases, California state law claims) involving the sale of GICs to municipalities and seeking monetary damages, including treble damages. The United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation has consolidated these federal cases for pre-trial proceedings in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the case name In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation. Certain plaintiffs have filed a consolidated amended complaint that names as a defendant only our subsidiary. However, in 2009, plaintiffs in these actions amended their complaints and those amended complaints do not presently name any Genworth subsidiary as a defendant.

The U.K. antitrust authorities conducted a review of the payment protection insurance sector and in January 2009, the antitrust authorities issued their final report that included the remedies to address the antitrust issues identified in their findings. The remedies included prohibitions on the sale of single premium payment protection insurance products, or the sale of payment protection products within seven days of the sale of the underlying credit product unless the consumer contacts the distributor after 24 hours of sale of the credit product, as well as additional informational remedies. Though it was previously anticipated that the remedies would be implemented during 2010, a recent successful appeal brought against key elements of the findings by a large U.K.

retail bank means that the implementation of the full remedies package will now probably be delayed until 2011.

 

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One of our insurance subsidiaries was named as a defendant in a lawsuit captioned Peisner v. Genworth Life Insurance Company (United States District Court for the Central District of California). The complaint was filed in May 2009 as a putative class action on behalf of California residents who purchased certain long-term care insurance policies issued by our insurance subsidiary. The plaintiff alleged that our insurance subsidiary breached express and implied contract terms, and violated California statutory requirements for fair and lawful business practices, by securing a rate increase on certain long-term care insurance policies. Our insurance subsidiary filed a motion with the court to dismiss the complaint on various grounds. Subsequent to the filing of the motion to dismiss, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the complaint in its entirety.

In December 2009, one of our non-insurance subsidiaries, one of the subsidiary’s officers and Genworth Financial, Inc. were named in a putative class action lawsuit captioned Michael J. Goodman and Linda Brown v. Genworth Financial Wealth Management, Inc., et al, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Plaintiffs allege securities law and other violations involving the selection of mutual funds by our subsidiary on behalf of certain of its Private Client Group clients. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and other relief. We intend to vigorously defend this action.

We cannot ensure that the current investigations and proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, it is possible that related investigations and proceedings may be commenced in the future, and we could become subject to further investigations and have lawsuits filed against us. In addition, increased regulatory scrutiny and any resulting investigations or proceedings could result in new legal precedents and industry-wide regulations or practices that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Item 4. Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

None.

 

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PART II

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market for Common Stock

Our Class A Common Stock is listed on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GNW.” The following table sets forth the high and low intra-day sales prices per share of our Class A Common Stock, as reported by The New York Stock Exchange, for the periods indicated:

 

     High    Low

2009

     

First Quarter

   $ 3.38    $ 0.78

Second Quarter

   $ 7.41    $ 1.75

Third Quarter

   $ 13.68    $ 5.02

Fourth Quarter

   $ 12.40    $ 8.37
     High    Low

2008

     

First Quarter

   $ 25.57    $ 19.75

Second Quarter

   $ 24.88    $ 17.69

Third Quarter

   $ 19.99    $ 3.51

Fourth Quarter

   $ 8.50    $ 0.70

As of February 16, 2010, we had 236 holders of record of our Class A Common Stock.

Common Stock Performance Graph

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” nor to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

The following graph compares the cumulative stockholder return on our Class A Common Stock with the cumulative total return on the S&P 500 Stock Index and the S&P 500 Insurance Index.

LOGO

 

     December 31,
2004
   December 31,
2005
   December 31,
2006
   December 31,
2007
   December 31,
2008
   December 31,
2009

Genworth Financial, Inc.

   $ 100.00    $ 129.26    $ 129.08    $ 97.16    $ 11.19    $ 44.88

S&P 500 Insurance Index

   $ 100.00    $ 114.11    $ 126.55    $ 118.56    $ 49.63    $ 56.50

S&P 500®

   $ 100.00    $ 104.91    $ 121.46    $ 128.13    $ 80.73    $ 102.10

 

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Dividends

In November 2008, to enhance our liquidity and capital position in the challenging market environment, our Board of Directors suspended the payment of dividends on our common stock indefinitely. The declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on many factors including our receipt of dividends from our operating subsidiaries, our financial condition and net income, the capital requirements of our subsidiaries, legal requirements, regulatory constraints, our credit and financial strength ratings and such other factors as the Board of Directors deems relevant. We cannot assure you when, whether or at what level we will resume paying dividends on our common stock.

In the first, second and third quarters of 2008, we declared common stock dividends of $0.10 per share, or $43 million, $44 million and $43 million, respectively, which were paid in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2008, respectively.

Our Series A Preferred Stock bears dividends at an annual rate of 5.25% of the liquidation value of $50 per share.

See “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional information.

We are a holding company and have no direct operations. As a result, our ability to pay dividends in the future will depend on receiving dividends from our subsidiaries. Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled and licensed and consequently are limited in the amount of dividends that they can pay. See “Item 1—Business—Regulation.”

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

During the fourth quarter of 2009, we repurchased shares of our Series A Preferred Stock as set forth in the table below.

 

(Dollar amounts in millions,

except per share amounts)

  Total number of
shares purchased
  Average price
paid per share
  Aggregate liquidation
preference of
repurchased shares 
(1)
  Total number of
shares purchased
as part of publicly
announced plans
or programs
  Approximate
dollar value of
shares that may yet be
purchased under
the plans or
programs

October 1, 2009 through October 31, 2009

  —     $ —     $ —     —     $ —  

November 1, 2009 through November 30, 2009

  —     $ —       —     —       —  

December 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009

  734,500   $ 48.66     37   —       —  
                     

Total

  734,500   $ 48.66   $ 37   —     $ —  
                     

 

(1)

In May 2004, we issued an aggregate liquidation preference of $100 million of our Series A Preferred Stock. Following the repurchases during 2009, we had an aggregate liquidation preference of $63 million outstanding as of December 31, 2009.

 

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following table sets forth selected financial information. The selected financial information as of December 31, 2009 and 2008 and for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007 has been derived from our consolidated financial statements, which have been audited by KPMG LLP and are included in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” You should read this information in conjunction with the information under “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our consolidated financial statements, the related notes and the accompanying independent registered public accounting firm’s report (which refers to changes in accounting for other-than-temporary impairments in 2009, and deferred acquisition costs in connection with modifications or exchanges of insurance contracts in 2007), which are included in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

 

    Years ended December 31,  

(Amounts in millions, except per share amounts)

  2009     2008     2007     2006     2005  

Consolidated Statements of Income Information

         

Revenues:

         

Premiums

  $ 6,019      $ 6,777      $ 6,330      $ 5,802      $ 5,638   

Net investment income

    3,033        3,730        4,135        3,787        3,489   

Net investment gains (losses) (1)

    (1,041     (1,709     (332     (69     (1

Insurance and investment product fees and other

    1,058        1,150        992        765        660   
                                       

Total revenues

    9,069        9,948        11,125        10,285        9,786   
                                       

Benefits and expenses:

         

Benefits and operating expenses

    9,468        10,420        9,038        8,068        7,748   

Interest expense

    393        470        481        364        293   
                                       

Total benefits and expenses

    9,861        10,890        9,519        8,432        8,041   
                                       

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes and cumulative effect of accounting change

    (792     (942     1,606        1,853        1,745   

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

    (393     (370     452        570        559   
                                       

Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of accounting change

    (399     (572     1,154        1,283        1,186   

Income from discontinued operations, net of taxes (2)

    —          —          15        41        35   

Gain on sale of discontinued operations, net of taxes (2)

    —          —          51        —          —     
                                       

Income (loss) before cumulative effect of accounting change

    (399     (572     1,220        1,324        1,221   

Cumulative effect of accounting change, net of taxes (3)

    —          —          —          4        —     
                                       

Net income (loss)

    (399     (572     1,220        1,328        1,221   

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests (4)

    61        —          —          —          —     
                                       

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

  $ (460   $ (572   $ 1,220      $ 1,328      $ 1,221   
                                       

Income (loss) from continuing operations per common share:

         

Basic

  $ (0.88   $ (1.32   $ 2.62      $ 2.81      $ 2.50   
                                       

Diluted (5)

  $ (0.88   $ (1.32   $ 2.58      $ 2.73      $ 2.45   
                                       

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders per common share:

         

Basic

  $ (1.02   $ (1.32   $ 2.77      $ 2.91      $ 2.57   
                                       

Diluted (5)

  $ (1.02   $ (1.32   $ 2.73      $ 2.83      $ 2.52   
                                       

Weighted-average common shares outstanding (6):

         

Basic

    451.1        433.2        439.7        455.9        475.3   
                                       

Diluted (5)

    451.1        433.2        447.6        469.4        484.6   
                                       

Cash dividends declared per common share (7)

  $ —        $ 0.30      $ 0.38      $ 0.33      $ 0.28   
                                       

 

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    Years ended December 31,  

(Amounts in millions)

  2009     2008     2007     2006     2005  

Selected Segment Information

         

Total revenues:

         

Retirement and Protection

  $ 5,667      $ 6,336      $ 6,884      $ 6,652      $ 6,314   

International

    2,560        2,907        2,689        2,144        2,103   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

    826        851        805        658        607   

Corporate and Other

    16        (146     747        831        762   
                                       

Total

  $ 9,069      $ 9,948      $ 11,125      $ 10,285      $ 9,786   
                                       

Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of accounting change:

         

Retirement and Protection

  $ (60   $ (145   $ 629      $ 641      $ 663   

International

    441        608        580        469        359   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

    (427     (368     171        262        238   

Corporate and Other

    (353     (667     (226     (89     (74
                                       

Total

  $ (399   $ (572   $ 1,154      $ 1,283      $ 1,186   
                                       

Consolidated Balance Sheet Information

         

Total investments

  $ 63,515      $ 60,612      $ 70,800      $ 68,573      $ 66,020   

All other assets (8)

    44,672        46,777        43,515        40,316        37,692   

Assets associated with discontinued operations (2)

    —          —          —          1,982        1,942   
                                       

Total assets

  $ 108,187      $ 107,389      $ 114,315      $ 110,871      $ 105,654   
                                       

Policyholder liabilities

  $ 69,220      $ 73,291      $ 72,977      $ 70,793      $ 69,716   

Non-recourse funding obligations

    3,443        3,455        3,455        2,765        1,400   

Short-term borrowings

    930        1,133        200        199        152   

Long-term borrowings

    3,641        4,261        3,903        4,021        3,436   

All other liabilities

    17,603        16,323        20,302        18,340        16,239   

Liabilities associated with discontinued operations (2)

    —          —          —          1,423        1,401   
                                       

Total liabilities

  $ 94,837      $ 98,463      $ 100,837      $ 97,541      $ 92,344   
                                       

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

  $ (164   $ (3,062   $ 727      $ 1,157      $ 1,404   

Noncontrolling interests (4)

  $ 1,074      $ —        $ —        $ —        $ —     

Total stockholders’ equity

  $ 13,350      $ 8,926      $ 13,478      $ 13,330      $ 13,310   

U.S. Statutory Financial Information (9)

         

Statutory capital and surplus (10)

  $ 5,878      $ 6,436      $ 6,597      $ 7,234      $ 6,672   

Asset valuation reserve (11)

  $ 56      $ 320      $ 430      $ 439      $ 416   

 

(1)

On April 1, 2009, we adopted new accounting guidance related to the recognition and presentation of other-than-temporary impairments. This accounting guidance modified the presentation of other-than-temporary impairments for certain debt securities to only present the impairment loss in net income (loss) that represents the credit loss associated with the other-than-temporary impairment with the remaining impairment loss being presented in other comprehensive income (loss). For further discussion, refer to note 2 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

(2)

On May 31, 2007, we completed the sale of our group life and health insurance business. Accordingly, the business was accounted for as discontinued operations and its results of operations, financial position and cash flows were separately reported for all periods presented. The sale resulted in a gain on sale of discontinued operations of $51 million, net of taxes.

(3)

Cumulative effect of accounting change, net of taxes, of $4 million for the year ended December 31, 2006 resulted from the adoption of guidance related to accounting for stock-based compensation.

(4)

Noncontrolling interests relate to the initial public offering of our Canadian mortgage insurance business in July 2009 which reduced our ownership percentage to 57.5%.

(5)

Under applicable accounting guidance, companies in a loss position are required to use basic weighted-average common shares outstanding in the calculation of diluted loss per share. Therefore, as a result of our net loss for December 31, 2009 and 2008, the inclusion of 1.9 million and 1.7 million, respectively, of

 

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shares for stock options, restricted stock units (“RSUs”) and stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) would have been antidilutive to the calculation. If we had not incurred a net loss for 2009 and 2008, dilutive potential common shares would have been 453.0 million and 434.9 million, respectively.

(6)

The number of shares used in our calculation of diluted earnings per common share in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 was affected by the additional shares of Class A Common Stock issuable under Equity Units, stock options, RSUs and SARs and was calculated using the treasury method. In May 2009, stockholders approved, and in July 2009 we commenced, an offer to eligible employees to exchange eligible stock options and SARs (the “Eligible Options and SARs”) for a reduced number of stock options and SARs (collectively, the “Replacement Awards”). In August 2009, we granted the Replacement Awards, consisting of an aggregate of 2.6 million new stock options and 308,210 new SARs, in exchange for the Eligible Options and SARs surrendered in the exchange offer. Weighted-average shares outstanding also increased reflecting a public offering of 55.2 million shares of our Class A Common Stock in September 2009. See note 16 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for a discussion of the exchange offer completed in August 2009 and note 3 for a discussion of the equity offering in September 2009.

(7)

We declared quarterly dividends of $0.065 per common share in the first and second quarters of 2005. We declared quarterly dividends of $0.075 per common share in the third and fourth quarters of 2005 and first and second quarter of 2006. During the third quarter of 2006, we increased the quarterly dividend 20% and declared dividends of $0.09 per common share in the third and fourth quarters of 2006 and the first and second quarters of 2007. During the third quarter of 2007, we increased the quarterly dividend 11% and declared dividends of $0.10 per common share in the third and fourth quarters of 2007 and the first, second and third quarters of 2008. In November 2008, to enhance our liquidity and capital position in the challenging market environment, our Board of Directors suspended the payment of dividends on our common stock indefinitely. Therefore, no dividends were declared in the fourth quarter of 2008 or in 2009.

(8)

Prior to the completion of our IPO, we entered into several significant reinsurance transactions with UFLIC, an affiliate of our former parent, in which we ceded certain blocks of structured settlement annuities, variable annuities and long-term care insurance. As a result of these transactions, we transferred investment securities to UFLIC and recorded a reinsurance recoverable that was included in “all other assets.” For a discussion of this transaction, refer to note 9 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

(9)

We derived the U.S. Statutory Information from Annual Statements of our U.S. insurance company subsidiaries that were filed with the insurance departments in states where we are domiciled and were prepared in accordance with statutory accounting practices prescribed or permitted by the insurance departments in states where we are domiciled. These statutory accounting practices vary in certain material respects from U.S. GAAP.

(10)

Combined statutory capital and surplus for our U.S. domiciled insurance subsidiaries includes surplus notes issued by our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries and statutorily required contingency reserves held by our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries. It also includes the statutory capital and surplus of our discontinued operations for the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005.

(11)

Includes the asset valuation reserve of our discontinued operations for the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005.

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis of our consolidated financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

Overview

Our business

We are a leading financial security company dedicated to providing insurance, wealth management, investment and financial solutions to more than 15 million customers, with a presence in more than 25 countries. We have three operating segments: Retirement and Protection, International and U.S. Mortgage Insurance.

 

   

Retirement and Protection. We offer and manage a variety of protection, wealth management and retirement income products. Our primary protection products include: life, long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance. Additionally, we offer other senior supplemental products, as well as care coordination services for our long-term care policyholders. Our wealth management and retirement income products include: a variety of managed account programs and advisor services, financial planning services, fixed and variable deferred and immediate individual annuities and group variable annuities offered through retirement plans. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our Retirement and Protection segment’s net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $60 million while net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $424 million.

 

   

International. We are a leading provider of mortgage insurance products in Canada, Australia, Mexico and multiple European countries. Our products predominantly insure prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans, also known as flow mortgage insurance. On a limited basis, we also provide mortgage insurance on a structured, or bulk, basis that aids in the sale of mortgages to the capital markets and helps lenders manage capital and risk. Additionally, we offer services, analytical tools and technology that enable lenders to operate efficiently and manage risk. We also offer payment protection coverages in multiple European countries, Canada and Mexico. Our lifestyle protection insurance products help consumers meet specified payment obligations should they become unable to pay due to accident, illness, involuntary unemployment, disability or death. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our International segment’s net income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders were $380 million and $385 million, respectively.

 

   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance. In the U.S., we offer mortgage insurance products predominantly insuring prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans, also known as flow mortgage insurance. We selectively provide mortgage insurance on a structured, or bulk, basis with essentially all of our bulk writings prime-based. Additionally, we offer services, analytical tools and technology that enable lenders to operate efficiently and manage risk. For the year ended December 31, 2009, our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment’s net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders were $427 million and $459 million, respectively.

We also have Corporate and Other activities which include debt financing expenses that are incurred at our holding company level, unallocated corporate income and expenses, eliminations of inter-segment transactions, the results of non-core businesses and non-strategic products that are managed outside of our operating segments and our group life and health insurance business, which we sold on May 31, 2007. For the year ended December 31, 2009, Corporate and Other activities had a net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and a net operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $353 million and $152 million, respectively.

 

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Our financial information

The financial information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K has been derived from our consolidated financial statements. Our consolidated financial statements included our group life and health insurance business that was presented in our consolidated financial statements as discontinued operations until sold in May 2007. See note 8 to our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for further discussion of our discontinued operations.

Revenues and expenses

Our revenues consist primarily of the following:

 

   

Retirement and Protection. The revenues in our Retirement and Protection segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on individual term life insurance, individual and group long-term care insurance, Medicare supplement insurance and single premium immediate annuities with life contingencies;

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) allocated to this segment; and

 

   

insurance and investment product fees and other, including surrender charges, mortality and expense risk charges, primarily from variable annuity contracts and universal life insurance policies, management fees and commissions from wealth management products, and other administrative charges.

 

   

International. The revenues in our International segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on international mortgage and lifestyle protection insurance policies;

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the separate investment portfolio held by our international mortgage and lifestyle protection insurance businesses; and

 

   

insurance and investment product fees and other, primarily third-party administration fees from our lifestyle protection insurance business.

 

   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance. The revenues in our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on mortgage insurance policies and premiums assumed through our inter-segment reinsurance and capital maintenance agreement with our international mortgage insurance business;

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolio; and

 

   

fee revenues from contract underwriting services.

 

   

Corporate and Other. The revenues in Corporate and Other consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums, insurance and investment product fees, income from non-core businesses and non-strategic products and eliminations of inter-segment transactions and

 

   

unallocated net investment income and net investment gains (losses).

We allocate net investment gains (losses) from Corporate and Other to our Retirement and Protection segment using an approach based principally upon the investment portfolios established to support the segment’s products and targeted capital levels. We do not allocate net investment gains (losses) from Corporate and Other to our International or U.S. Mortgage Insurance segments because they have their own separate investment portfolios, and net investment gains (losses) from those portfolios are reflected in the International and U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment results, respectively.

 

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Our expenses consist primarily of the following:

 

   

benefits provided to policyholders and contractholders and changes in reserves;

 

   

interest credited on general account balances;

 

   

acquisition and operating expenses, including commissions, marketing expenses, policy and contract servicing costs, overhead and other general expenses that are not capitalized (shown net of deferrals);

 

   

amortization of DAC and other intangible assets;

 

   

goodwill impairment charges;

 

   

interest and other financing expenses; and

 

   

income taxes.

We allocate corporate expenses to each of our operating segments using a methodology that includes allocated capital.

Management’s discussion and analysis by segment contains selected operating performance measures including “sales,” “assets under management” and “insurance in-force” or “risk in-force” which are commonly used in the insurance and investment industries as measures of operating performance.

Management regularly monitors and reports sales metrics as a measure of volume of new and renewal business generated in a period. Sales refer to: (1) annualized first-year premiums for term life, long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance; (2) new and additional premiums/deposits for universal life insurance, linked-benefits, spread-based and variable products; (3) gross and net flows, which represent gross flows less redemptions, for our wealth management business; (4) written premiums and deposits, gross of ceded reinsurance and cancellations, and premium equivalents, where we earn a fee for administrative services only business, for our lifestyle protection insurance business; (5) new insurance written for mortgage insurance, which in each case reflects the amount of business we generated during each period presented; and (6) written premiums net of cancellations for our Mexican insurance operations. Sales do not include renewal premiums on policies or contracts written during prior periods. We consider annualized first-year premiums, new premiums/deposits, gross and net flows, written premiums, premium equivalents and new insurance written to be a measure of our operating performance because they represent a measure of new sales of insurance policies or contracts during a specified period, rather than a measure of our revenues or profitability during that period.

Management regularly monitors and reports assets under management for our wealth management business, insurance in-force and risk in-force. Assets under management for our wealth management business represent third-party assets under management that are not consolidated in our financial statements. Insurance in-force for our life, international mortgage and U.S. mortgage insurance businesses is a measure of the aggregate face value of outstanding insurance policies as of the respective reporting date. Risk in-force for our international and U.S. mortgage insurance businesses is a measure that recognizes that the loss on any particular mortgage loan will be reduced by the net proceeds received upon sale of the underlying property. We consider assets under management for our wealth management business, insurance in-force and risk in-force to be a measure of our operating performance because they represent a measure of the size of our business at a specific date, rather than a measure of our revenues or profitability during that period.

We also include information related to loss mitigation activities for our U.S. mortgage insurance business. We define loss mitigation activities as rescissions, cancellations, borrower loan modifications, repayment plans, lender- and borrower-titled presales and other loan workouts and claim mitigation actions. Estimated savings related to rescissions are the reduction in carried loss reserves, net of premium refunds and reinstatement of prior rescissions. Estimated savings related to loan modifications and other cure related loss mitigation actions represent the reduction in carried loss reserves. For non-cure related actions, including presales, the estimated savings represent the difference between the full claim obligation and the actual amount paid. We believe that this information helps to enhance the understanding of the operating performance of our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

 

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These operating measures enable us to compare our operating performance across periods without regard to revenues or profitability related to policies or contracts sold in prior periods or from investments or other sources.

Business trends and conditions

Our business is, and we expect will continue to be, influenced by a number of industry-wide and product-specific trends and conditions.

General conditions and trends affecting our businesses

Financial and economic environment. As a financial security company, the stability of both the financial markets and global economies in which we operate impacts our sales, revenue growth and trends in profitability of our businesses. Beginning in 2008, we saw slowing economies, rising unemployment, falling real estate values and reduced consumer spending in virtually all the markets in which we operate. In 2009, Canada and Australia have seen improvements in their economies and rising real estate values leading to stabilization and improvements in their housing markets. In the U.S., modest economic growth has returned in the second half of 2009. Economies in Europe have remained weak and have only recently begun to show signs of stabilization. However, financial markets have improved during the second half of 2009, with solid performance, lower volatility in equity markets, narrowing spreads and better credit performance in many sectors of the debt markets, reversing a significant percentage of the declines experienced in 2008. Despite continued stress in the U.S. housing market and variations in performance by sub-market, there have been early signs of stabilization in housing prices in the third and fourth quarters of 2009 as compared to earlier in the year.

We believe that the market conditions experienced since 2008 combined with slow economic growth have influenced, and will continue to influence, investment and spending decisions as both consumers and businesses adjust their consumption, debt and risk profiles in response to those conditions. We have seen an adverse impact on sales, revenues and profitability trends of certain insurance and investment products in 2009 related to some of these market conditions. Other factors such as government spending, monetary policies, regulatory initiatives, the volatility and strength of the capital markets, anticipated tax policy changes and the uncertainty surrounding U.S. healthcare reform can affect economic and business outlooks and consumer behaviors.

In our retirement and protection insurance businesses, we saw consumers more willing to return to investing in equity markets and purchase or evaluate other protection and retirement offerings. In certain markets, we have seen an increase in sales and assets under management which indicate select trends may be improving. However, we could experience an increase in lapses or surrenders of policies in our life and long-term care insurance businesses if our policyholders have cash needs.

In our U.S. Mortgage Insurance and International segments, stressed economic conditions have been evident in lower mortgage originations and the decrease in consumer lending in the majority of our target markets. However, the conditions have recently improved in certain markets. In late 2007, we began to experience increased levels of delinquencies in our U.S. and international mortgage insurance businesses and an elevated incidence of claims in our lifestyle protection insurance business that continued into 2009. In the second half of 2009, we began to see a slowdown in the rate of new delinquencies in our international mortgage insurance business and the rate of claims in our lifestyle protection insurance business resulting in a corresponding reduction in loss ratios.

In response to recent market conditions, we tightened underwriting guidelines to reduce risk or exposure in our mortgage insurance globally. We increased pricing in multiple targeted markets and products. We have also adjusted our investment and asset-liability management strategies in an attempt to reduce risk during recent economic and financial market conditions. In addition, we refined our product and distribution management strategies to best fit with our strengths, profitability targets and risk tolerance. These and other company actions seek to enhance our competitive position as well as our capital flexibility and liquidity as discussed under “—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

 

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Since late 2008, the U.S. government, Federal Reserve and other legislative and regulatory bodies have taken a variety of other actions to stabilize the capital markets and provide needed liquidity to promote economic growth. These include various mortgage restructuring programs under consideration or implemented by the GSEs, lenders and the U.S. government. Outside of the U.S., various governments have taken actions to stimulate economies, stabilize financial systems and improve market liquidity. There can be no assurance as to what impact any of these actions will or have had on the economic and financial markets, including levels of volatility. A prolonged economic recovery period or global recessionary setback could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Volatility in credit and investment markets. Market conditions showed lower volatility and continued signs of improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009. Early signs of recovery in the U.S. economy and generally favorable third quarter of 2009 corporate earnings led to greater investor confidence and another quarter of positive equity and credit market performance. Rising demand for fixed-income products during the fourth quarter of 2009 led to further compression in credit spreads. Market stability was further reflected in the muted response to bankruptcy and default events during the fourth quarter of 2009 as compared to more volatile responses to such events in 2008 and earlier in 2009. The market for asset-backed securities also improved as risk sensitivity declined and demand for higher-yielding short-term investments returned. As a result, liquidity premiums were lower in many sectors and a clear differentiation between the performance of individual credits returned. Despite overall market improvement, challenging levels of unemployment and continued economic uncertainty still weigh on commercial real estate and consumer-related asset performance, although the rate of decline for the consumer-related asset sectors continues to slow.

While the marketplace is still experiencing a decline in the performance of collateral underlying certain structured securities, corporate impairments have decreased significantly in 2009. We recorded net other-than-temporary impairments of $1,058 million during the year ended December 31, 2009. Impairments recorded in the latter portion of 2009 were lower than the levels experienced in the second half of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 as market improvements have continued and we expect losses to trend down. Additionally, for the year ended December 31, 2009, losses related to limited partnerships increased to $160 million. However, in the second half of 2009, we saw a decline in losses related to limited partnerships from the second quarter of 2009. Although economic conditions may continue to negatively impact our investment valuation, the underlying collateral associated with assets that have not been impaired continues to perform.

We believe that the current credit environment provides us with opportunities to invest across a variety of asset classes to meet our yield requirements, as well as to continue our diversification and efforts to minimize risk within the investment portfolio. See “—Investments and Derivative Instruments” for additional information on our investment portfolio.

Trends and conditions affecting our segments

Retirement and Protection

Life insurance. Results in our life insurance business are impacted by sales, mortality, persistency, investment yields and statutory reserve requirements. Additionally, sales of our products and persistency of our insurance in-force are dependent on competitive product features and pricing, distribution and customer service.

There has been an overall decline in life insurance sales for the industry given recent market conditions. Consistent with the industry, our life insurance sales trended down during 2008 and through the first half of 2009, although we saw an increase in sales during the third and fourth quarters of 2009 as compared to the second quarter of 2009. In our universal life insurance products, we anticipate that new premium sales may decline or remain flat before returning to a growth profile as we introduce new life insurance products that are more capital efficient and priced to achieve targeted returns. In our term life insurance products, we have continued to execute on our refined “main street” market focus (characterized primarily by face amounts of $1

 

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million or below). In addition, we have introduced a new term universal life insurance product that is designed to and will replace new sales of our current traditional term life insurance products. As a result, sales of our traditional term insurance will decline and will be replaced by term universal life insurance sales. We believe our recently introduced new term universal life product offers a similar value proposition to the consumer as our traditional term life product and is competitively priced for the main street market and we have seen positive initial trends in overall submitted policies. However, the growth rate will ultimately depend upon the timing of distributor (existing BGA and other distributors) and consumer adoption.

Beginning in late 2008 and continuing through 2009, we have seen favorable mortality in our life insurance products as compared to priced mortality. Additionally, we have experienced lower persistency in term life insurance policies going into their post-level rate period (10 and 15 years after policy issue) and expect this trend to continue as certain blocks of business reach the post-level rate period.

During 2009, certain competitors have increased prices and exited certain product features in the life insurance market, particularly in policies with longer guarantee periods and no lapse guarantees, which could benefit our competitiveness and returns over time. Competitors have made pricing adjustments, in part, to address Regulations XXX and AXXX which require insurers to establish additional statutory reserves for term life insurance policies with long-term premium guarantees and certain universal life insurance policies with secondary guarantees, which increase the capital required to write these products. The solutions for the increased reserve requirements on some of our in-force books of business have become more limited and expensive which has and may continue to negatively impact the respective product margins, and therefore, our results of operations. Related to our in-force contracts, we have committed funding sources for approximately 95% of our anticipated peak level reserves required under Regulations XXX and AXXX so unfunded reserve exposure is minimal. In addition, as noted above, we have also introduced product modifications to our universal life insurance products which provide shorter guarantee periods, thereby reducing the capital requirements and mitigating the level of future additional statutory reserve funding requirements. We have introduced a new term universal life insurance product that is designed to replace new sales of our existing term life insurance products. The new term universal life insurance product offers death benefit guarantee premiums that are competitive with traditional term insurance premiums for comparable durations and provides greater flexibility typically associated with universal life coverage. These new products are designed to reduce capital requirements and limit financing costs associated with existing products and thereby improve the profitability of new business.

Long-term care insurance. Results of our long-term care insurance business are influenced by morbidity, persistency, investment yields, new product sales, expenses and reinsurance.

In recent years, industry-wide first-year annualized premiums of individual long-term care insurance have either declined or grown moderately. Although our sales in the last year have been adversely impacted primarily by the general economic conditions and lower sales through our independent distribution and career force channels, the decline has been partially mitigated by the breadth of our distribution and progress across multiple growth initiatives with an emphasis on broadening our product offerings, including additional group long-term care insurance and linked-benefits offerings. In the second half of 2009, we experienced an improvement in our long-term care insurance sales.

In 2008, the impact of lower termination rates, in particular lapse rates on older issued policies, some with expiring reinsurance coverage, caused higher benefits and other changes in policy reserves, resulting in lower results of operations for older blocks of business. However, in the first half of 2009, termination rates increased on the new and old blocks of business resulting in lower benefits and other changes in policy reserves that contributed to higher results of operations. During the second half of 2009, termination rates have returned to more normal levels.

In response to these trends, we continue pursuing multiple growth initiatives, investing in case management improvements, maintaining tight expense management, actively exploring reinsurance strategies, executing effective investment strategies and, if appropriate, considering other actions to improve profitability of the

 

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overall block, including potential future rate increases. In addition, proposed changes in regulations or government programs, such as certain aspects of healthcare reform, if enacted, could impact our long-term care insurance business positively or negatively. We continue to actively monitor regulatory developments.

Wealth management. Results of our wealth management business are impacted by demand for asset management products and related support services, investment performance and equity market conditions. In the second half of 2008 through early 2009, the decline and volatility in the equity markets negatively impacted the asset management industry overall, as well as our assets under management, net flows, the performance of certain mutual funds we offer and associated fee income. With the improvement in the equity markets beginning in the second quarter of 2009, along with the introduction of new investment strategies, we had higher sales, net flows and assets under management in each of the last three quarters of 2009. Depending upon the direction of equity markets in the future, we would expect to see a correlated impact on performance in these areas.

Retirement income. Results for our retirement income business are affected by investment performance, interest rate levels, slope of the interest rate yield curve, net interest spreads, equity market conditions, mortality, policyholder lapses and new product sales. Our competitive position within many of our distribution channels and our ability to grow this business depends on many factors, including product features and ratings. Product features include current and minimum crediting rates on our spread-based products, surrender charges and guaranteed benefit features in variable annuity products which provide a guaranteed death or living benefits to the consumer.

Recent product changes and sales of annuity products reflect a more targeted growth strategy. We have scaled back certain product features that reduce risk in our variable annuity products and have more selectively targeted distributors and sales personnel supporting our annuity products due to the adverse market conditions and our risk appetite, profitability and capital strategies reflecting this more targeted growth strategy. In addition, in late 2008 and early 2009, due to adverse market conditions, our operating results and ratings downgrades, certain firms elected to suspend sales of fixed and variable annuity products issued by one or more of our subsidiaries. The largest impact of these suspensions was on our fixed annuity offerings through large financial institutions. As a result of the market recovery and our improved financial performance, several firms have lifted their suspension and are once again offering our products. Additionally, in the second half of 2009, we have expanded our distribution relationships with new financial institutions, independent financial planners and BGAs and we expect to continue to expand with the BGA and independent financial planner channels and introduce new product offerings.

In fixed annuities, we are distributing through BGAs, independent financial planners and select financial institutions, complementing our overall product suite. Sales may fluctuate as we are offering these products opportunistically. We may reduce crediting rates on deferred annuities and have re-priced immediate annuities to maintain spreads and targeted returns. Since the second half of 2008, spreads on fixed annuity products have declined related to lower short-term rates and from holding higher cash balances to manage through challenging market conditions. We anticipate improvement in spreads as cash is reinvested at higher yields in the near term.

In variable annuities, market pressures in late 2008 and early 2009 increased our expected death and living benefit costs, the costs of our hedging programs and the level of capital we may need to support these products. The significant declines and increased volatility in the equity markets during the second half of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 negatively impacted our results of operations through accelerated amortization of DAC and increased reserves. However, the improvement in the equity markets during the second half of 2009 favorably impacted our results through lower amortization of DAC and lower reserves. In the future, equity market performance and volatility could result in additional gains or losses in our variable annuity products and associated hedging program which would impact our results of operations.

We continue to offer variable annuity products with living benefit features, such as those described above. However, in response to the volatility in equity markets, certain product features have been scaled back to reduce risk and costs have been increased to the consumer. These product changes are similar to actions taken by many

 

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of our competitors. We believe the benefits offered by these products remain attractive to consumers within our target markets as we experienced increased sales in these products during the second half of 2009.

International

International mortgage insurance. Results of our international mortgage insurance business are affected by changes in regulatory environments, employment and other economic and housing market trends, including interest rate trends, home price appreciation, mortgage origination volume, levels of mortgage delinquencies and movements in foreign currency exchange rates. Since early 2008, we have generally seen a slowdown in high loan-to-value mortgage origination levels and an increase in unemployment in all of our international markets. Accordingly, we have experienced lower levels of new insurance written in most markets and increased losses, which have adversely impacted the growth of our revenues and our results of operations with variations seen by individual country.

Throughout 2009, we have observed increased stability in the housing markets, with notable improvements in Canada and Australia, as lower mortgage rates, improved housing affordability, certain government programs and improved consumer confidence have resulted in increased home sales activity. As a result, home prices have increased in these markets during 2009. Additionally, while unemployment has increased during 2009, we have seen signs of stabilization or improvement in unemployment rates in these two markets in the second half of 2009. In certain of our European mortgage insurance markets, we have observed early signs of stabilization as unemployment growth and declines in home prices have moderated.

Canada and Australia comprise approximately 97% of our international mortgage insurance risk in-force with an estimated average effective loan-to-value ratio of 67% as of December 31, 2009. We expect that these established markets will continue to be key drivers of revenues and earnings in our international mortgage insurance business. Our entry and growth in developing international markets will be selective.

In Canada, government actions such as reductions in interest rates, the expansion of the Canadian Mortgage Bond Program and the establishment of a $125.0 billion mortgage purchase program helped mitigate the impact of the economic slowdown in the Canadian housing market. In Australia, government actions such as providing increased grants to first-time home buyers, establishing temporary liquidity facilities to purchase residential mortgage-backed securities directly from lenders and reducing interest rates helped offset the impact of the slowing economy, decreasing home price appreciation and rising unemployment rates in the Australian market. As a sign of the relative health and stability of the Australian economy, in the fourth quarter of 2009, the Reserve Bank of Australia began to reduce the stimulus provided and increased the cash rate by 75 basis points. It is anticipated that the Reserve Bank of Australia will continue to increase rates in 2010. In Canada, the Bank of Canada has indicated that it will maintain the overnight rate at current levels through the first half of 2010 but will likely increase the overnight rate modestly in the second half of 2010.

In Australia, as a result of lower interest rates during the first nine months of 2009 and specific government programs, there was an increase in mortgage originations by first-time home buyers and an associated increase in our new insurance written in 2009. The Australian government extended its enhanced first-time home buyer program benefits through the end of 2009, although at reduced levels. We expect that lower levels of government support to first-time home buyers and increased interest rates in the fourth quarter of 2009 may reduce the level of high loan-to-value originations and our level of new insurance written in 2010.

Overall, our international mortgage insurance business has experienced higher loss levels as recent books of insurance in-force seasoned in a period of higher unemployment and lower levels of home price appreciation. In early 2008, we began taking steps to tighten underwriting requirements, increase prices in targeted areas or products, and enhance loss mitigation initiatives in light of the slowing economies and housing markets. For example, during 2008, we implemented a price increase with certain lenders in our European mortgage insurance business, and we implemented an approximate 17% price increase in our Australian mortgage insurance business. During 2009, we again increased prices for certain accounts in Europe, and implemented an approximate 20% price increase in Australia. In addition, we significantly expanded our focus on, and the

 

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resources devoted to, our loss mitigation initiatives, including programs that actively partner with our lenders to find solutions that cure delinquencies through actions such as loan modifications and keep borrowers in their homes. These programs benefit all parties as borrowers are able to remain in their homes, lenders maintain both their relationship with the borrower and an earning asset, and we mitigate claim payments under the terms of our mortgage insurance policies. During 2009, there was an increase in the number of loans subject to our loss mitigation initiatives, which we believe had a favorable impact on our results of operations. With continued improvement in the Canadian and Australian economies and housing markets, as well as the success we experienced with our loss mitigation initiatives outlined above, we expect our loss levels to improve from recent levels experienced.

Lifestyle protection insurance. Growth and performance of our lifestyle protection insurance business is dependent in part on economic conditions, including consumer lending levels, unemployment trends, client account penetration and mortality and morbidity trends. Additionally, the types and mix of our products will vary based on regulatory and consumer acceptance of our products.

For the year ended December 31, 2009, sales decreased primarily as a result of slowing economies across Europe, which resulted in a decline in consumer lending where most of our insurance coverages attach as banks tightened their lending criteria and consumer demand declined. Additionally, our continued focus on risk management has led us to exit certain relationships or concentration of coverages. We have also experienced lower single premium sales due in part to the adoption of new regulations of sales practices in the U.K. Depending on the severity and length of these trends, we may experience additional sales declines.

In contrast to the second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009, when unemployment rates increased rapidly, we have seen a slowdown in the rate of increase in unemployment over the past several months across Europe. Consequently, we experienced a significant decline in new claim registrations on unemployment-related policies, particularly in Spain, Ireland and the U.K. since March 2009. We continue to expect unemployment rates in Europe to increase slowly in 2010, in line with the rate of change witnessed in the second half of 2009. The reduction in new unemployment claim registrations was offset by increasing duration pressure from high levels of persistent unemployment.

During 2009, significant progress was made in improving profitability with pricing and coverage or distribution contract changes on both new and eligible in-force policies. These actions are expected to continue into 2010. Collectively, these strategies will help absorb the impact of continued high unemployment as well as an expected decline in new structured transactions. In addition, significant claims handling resources have been added to ensure that all claims are handled as required, in a timely and accurate fashion.

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

Results of our U.S. mortgage insurance business are affected by employment and other economic and housing market trends, including interest rates, home prices, mortgage origination volume and practices and product mix, as well as the levels and aging of mortgage delinquencies including seasonal variations. These economic and housing market trends are in turn continuing to be adversely affected by the ongoing weak domestic economy and related levels of unemployment.

We expect unemployment levels to increase modestly in 2010. Home prices are beginning to stabilize or improve in many U.S. markets after a significant decline from their peak level. Overall, we anticipate additional modest declines in home values to continue in 2010. Certain regions around the country, particularly Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan, continue to experience an economic slowdown. These areas have seen a more pronounced weakness in their housing markets, as well as declines in home prices.

Even though various government-sponsored and lender foreclosure moratoria have been suspended, we are seeing a lag in the rate at which delinquent loans are both entering into foreclosure as well as progressing through the foreclosure process. Consequently, we expect to see an increase in the number of foreclosure starts and in the rate at which foreclosures progress to claim. As these loans go through foreclosure, our paid claims will increase. At

 

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the same time, there are several programs related to the U.S. housing market being implemented by the U.S. government, GSEs and various lenders, which may mitigate losses on loans we insure. We are actively participating in and supporting these various programs. The increased number of delinquent loans has strained the resources of servicers, in some cases reducing or limiting their ability to undertake loss mitigation efforts that could help limit our claim loss exposure. These programs are expected to limit increases in paid claims and we continue to pursue ways to support the servicers in their efforts to increase the impact from our loss mitigation activities.

While the rate of increase in these delinquencies slowed towards the end of 2009, delinquency and foreclosure levels have increased from the prior quarter and continue to remain high, thus further pressuring home prices resulting in defaults. We believe this overall pressure on the housing market is adversely affecting the performance of our portfolio, in particular our 2005, 2006 and 2007 books of business, across all product lines in all markets. Although the impact has been concentrated in certain states and product types, during 2009, the impact began to shift to more traditional products reflecting elevated unemployment levels. These factors contributed to an increase in paid claims and loss reserves over the past several quarters as a result of a significant increase in delinquencies and foreclosures. These trends are also evident in all products across all regions of the country, particularly in our A minus, Alt-A, ARMs and certain 100% loan-to-value products in Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada. We are still experiencing an increase in delinquencies and associated reserves relating to adjustable rate loans including payment option ARMs and Alt-A products in our bulk business, particularly from the 2006 and 2007 books of business, offset partially by increased benefits from loss mitigation activities, including rescission actions. If home values continue to decline and credit liquidity remains tight, the ability to cure a delinquent loan is more difficult to achieve.

Our loss mitigation activities, including those relating to workouts, loan modifications, pre-sales and rescissions, have resulted in a reduction of expected losses of approximately $847 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. In the process, we approved approximately 25,800 workouts, loan modifications and pre-sales during this period resulting in a reduction of loss exposure of approximately $264 million. The workouts and loan modifications could be subject to potential re-default by the underlying borrowers. In addition, as a result of investigation activities on certain insured delinquent loans, we found significant levels of misrepresentation and non-compliance with certain terms and conditions of our underlying master insurance policies, as well as fraud. These findings resulted in rescission actions that reduced our loss exposure at the time of rescission by approximately $583 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. Our investigations process and rescission actions along with expanded loan modification efforts given various related lender and government programs, have had a significant benefit and are expected to continue; however, going forward, there is no assurance regarding what specific level of benefits will result.

Our bulk risk in-force was substantially reduced in 2009 pursuant to agreements reached with the insured. In addition, in January 2010, we reached an agreement with a counterparty that further reduces our bulk insurance exposure, leaving a small portfolio related principally to the FHLBs.

We also participate in reinsurance programs in which we share portions of our premiums associated with flow insurance written on loans originated or purchased by lenders with captive insurance entities of these lenders in exchange for an agreed upon level of loss coverage above a specified attachment point. For the year ended December 31, 2009, we recorded reinsurance recoveries of $673 million where cumulative losses have exceeded the attachment points in captive reinsurance arrangements, primarily related to our 2005, 2006 and 2007 books of business. We have exhausted certain captive reinsurance tiers for these book years based on worsening loss development trends. Once the captive reinsurance or trust assets are exhausted, we are responsible for additional losses incurred. We have begun to experience constraints on the recognition of captive benefit recovery due to the amount of funds held in certain captive trusts and the exhaustion of captive loss tiers for certain reinsurers. As of January 1, 2009, we no longer participate in excess loss of captive reinsurance transactions and we will only participate in quota share reinsurance arrangements. The majority of our excess of loss captive reinsurance arrangements are in runoff with no new books of business being added going forward; however, we will continue to benefit from captive reinsurance on our 2005, 2006 and 2007 books of business.

 

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A weak housing market and the lack of liquidity in some mortgage securitization markets continued to drive a smaller mortgage origination market in 2009. The mortgage insurance penetration rate and market size have been driven down by lack of liquidity, tight underwriting guidelines, growth in FHA originations and weak housing markets. Going forward, this trend may potentially limit the demand for private mortgage insurance. Given the potential restructuring of housing and financial reform involving the GSEs and FHA, we could regain some market share over time.

We continue controlling the quality of our new business through tight underwriting guidelines, which we may modify from time to time when circumstances warrant such changes. We are also seeing the benefit of the previously announced rate increase of 20% on average for our flow products and a reduction in captive cession which equates to an effective pricing improvement of approximately 15%. We previously exited certain product lines, such as A minus, Alt-A and 100% loan-to-value products. We also continue to monitor our declining market policy, which among various restrictions, limited coverages to loans with 90% loan-to-value and below and to adjust those markets accordingly as areas of the U.S. housing market begin to stabilize. Recently, we reduced the number of markets subject to our declining market policy to allow coverage of loans up to 95% loan-to-value in additional markets given improving housing market conditions, which resulted in increased new business written and should positively impact new production going forward.

Our level of market penetration and eventual market size could also be affected by any actions taken by the GSEs or the FHA or governmental actions impacting housing policy or related reforms. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 provides for changes to, among other things, the regulatory authority and oversight of the GSEs and the authority of the FHA including with respect to premium pricing, maximum loan limits and down payment requirements. In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain the largest purchasers and guarantors of mortgage loans in the United States.

In September 2008, we announced that we were exploring strategic alternatives regarding our U.S. mortgage insurance business; however, we are no longer actively exploring strategic alternatives related to this business. We are operating our U.S. mortgage insurance business with sound risk and capital management practices to maintain a self-sufficient capital plan capable of absorbing the impact of continued stressed economic conditions. We are benefiting from recent changes in regulation, such as the clarification to adjust the risk-to-capital calculation to exclude the risk in-force with an established loss reserve, which have increased flexibility in the current environment. Legislation was signed into law recently in North Carolina granting discretion to the regulator through mid-2011 allowing a well capitalized mortgage insurer to exceed the 25:1 requirement under certain circumstances.

Critical Accounting Estimates

The accounting estimates discussed in this section are those that we consider to be particularly critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements because their application places the most significant demands on our ability to judge the effect of inherently uncertain matters on our financial results. For all of these policies, we caution that future events rarely develop exactly as forecasted, and management’s best estimates may require adjustment.

Valuation of fixed maturity securities. Our portfolio of fixed maturity securities is comprised primarily of investment grade securities, which are carried at fair value.

Fair value measurements are based upon observable and unobservable inputs. Observable inputs reflect market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs reflect our view of market assumptions in the absence of observable market information. We utilize valuation techniques that maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs. All assets carried at fair value are classified and disclosed in one of the following three categories:

 

   

Level 1—Quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets.

 

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Level 2—Quoted prices for similar instruments in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active; and model-derived valuations whose inputs are observable or whose significant value drivers are observable.

 

   

Level 3—Instruments whose significant value drivers are unobservable.

Estimates of fair values for fixed maturity securities are obtained primarily from industry-standard pricing methodologies utilizing market observable inputs. For our less liquid securities, such as our privately placed securities, we utilize independent market data to employ alternative valuation methods commonly used in the financial services industry to estimate fair value. Based on the market observability of the inputs used in estimating the fair value, the pricing level is assigned.

Security pricing is applied using a hierarchy approach. The vast majority of our fixed maturity securities use Level 2 inputs for the determination of fair value. These fair values are obtained primarily from industry-standard pricing methodologies utilizing market observable information, when available. Because many fixed-income securities do not trade on a daily basis, fair value is determined using industry-standard methodologies by applying available market information through processes such as benchmark curves, benchmarking of like-securities, sector groupings, quotes from market participants and matrix pricing. Observable information is compiled and integrates relevant credit information, perceived market movements and sector news. Additionally, security prices are periodically back-tested to validate and/or refine models as conditions warrant. Market indicators and industry and economic events are also monitored as triggers to obtain additional data. For certain structured securities with limited trading activity, industry-standard pricing methodologies utilize adjusted market information, such as index prices or discounting expected future cash flows, to estimate fair value. These measures are not deemed observable for a particular security and results in the measurement being classified as Level 3.

Where specific market information is unavailable for certain securities, such as privately placed securities, internally developed pricing models produce estimates of fair value primarily utilizing Level 2 inputs along with certain Level 3 inputs. The internally developed models include matrix pricing. The pricing matrix begins with current treasury rates and uses credit spreads received from third-party sources to estimate fair value. The credit spreads incorporate the issuer’s industry or issuer-specific credit characteristics and the security’s time to maturity, if warranted. Remaining un-priced securities are valued using an estimate of fair value based on indicative market prices that include significant unobservable inputs not based on, nor corroborated by, market information, including the utilization of non-binding broker quotes.

The following table sets forth the fair value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio by pricing source as of December 31, 2009:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Total    Level 1    Level 2    Level 3

Fixed maturity securities:

           

Priced via industry standard pricing methodologies

   $ 43,186    $ —      $ 37,354    $ 5,832

Priced via indicative market prices

     689      —        —        689

Priced via internally developed models

     5,877      —        4,338      1,539
                           

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 49,752    $ —      $ 41,692    $ 8,060
                           

See note 2 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to the valuation of fixed maturity securities.

Other-than-temporary impairments on available-for-sale securities. As of each balance sheet date, we evaluate securities in an unrealized loss position for other-than-temporary impairments. For debt securities, we consider all available information relevant to the collectability of the security, including information about past

 

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events, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts, when developing the estimate of cash flows expected to be collected. For equity securities, we recognize an impairment charge in the period in which we determine that the security will not recover to book value within a reasonable period.

On April 1, 2009, we adopted new accounting guidance related to investments that amended the requirement for management to positively assert the ability and intent to hold a debt security to recovery in determining whether an impairment was other-than-temporary and replaced that provision with the assertion that management does not intend to sell or it is not more likely than not that we will be required to sell a security prior to recovery. Prior to the adoption of the new accounting guidance related to investments, management would only authorize the sale of securities not deemed to be other-than-temporarily impaired in response to unforeseen events. If evidence of the conditions or events resulting in our change in intent to hold to recovery was insufficient to prove the events could not have been foreseen, the sale of the security would have been prohibited to ensure consistency with management’s previous assertion of having the intent and ability to hold the security to recovery. Subsequent to the adoption of the new accounting guidance related to investments, management may decide to sell certain securities as a part of our normal portfolio management. See note 2 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to other-than-temporary impairments on available-for-sale securities and accounting changes related to other-than-temporary impairments.

Derivatives. We enter into freestanding derivative transactions primarily to manage the risk associated with variability in cash flows or changes in fair values related to our financial assets and liabilities. We also use derivative instruments to hedge certain currency exposures. Additionally, we purchase investment securities, issue certain insurance policies and engage in certain reinsurance contracts that have embedded derivatives. The associated financial statement risk is the volatility in net income which can result from: (i) changes in the fair value of derivatives not qualifying as accounting hedges; (ii) changes in the fair value of embedded derivatives required to be bifurcated from the related host contract; (iii) ineffectiveness of designated hedges; and (iv) counterparty default. Accounting for derivatives is complex, as evidenced by significant authoritative interpretations of the primary accounting standards which continue to evolve. See notes 2 and 5 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for an additional description of derivative instruments and fair value measurements of derivative instruments.

Deferred acquisition costs. DAC represents costs that vary with, and are primarily related to, the sale and issuance of our insurance policies and investment contracts which 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 and some support costs, such as underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses. DAC is subsequently amortized to expense over the lives of the underlying contracts, in relation to the anticipated recognition of premiums or gross profits.

The amortization of DAC for traditional long-duration insurance products (including guaranteed renewable term life, life-contingent structured settlements and immediate annuities and long-term care insurance) is determined as a level proportion of premium based on commonly accepted actuarial methods and reasonable assumptions about mortality, morbidity, lapse rates, expenses, and future yield on related investments, established when the contract or policy is issued. U.S. GAAP requires that assumptions for these types of products not be modified (or unlocked) unless recoverability testing deems them to be inadequate. Amortization is adjusted each period to reflect policy lapse or termination rates as compared to anticipated experience. Accordingly, we could experience accelerated amortization of DAC if policies terminate earlier than originally assumed.

Amortization of DAC for annuity contracts without significant mortality risk and for investment and universal life insurance products is based on expected gross profits. Expected gross profits are adjusted quarterly to reflect actual experience to date or for the unlocking of underlying key assumptions based on experience studies such as mortality, withdrawal or lapse rates, investment margin or maintenance expenses. The estimation of expected gross profits is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty as to the underlying key assumptions employed and the long duration of our policy or contract liabilities. Changes in expected gross profits reflecting

 

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the unlocking of underlying key assumptions could result in a material increase or decrease in the amortization of DAC depending on the magnitude of the change in underlying assumptions. Significant factors that could result in a material increase or decrease in DAC amortization for these products include material changes in withdrawal or lapse rates, investment spreads or mortality assumptions. For the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, key assumptions were unlocked in our Retirement and Protection segment to reflect our current expectation of future investment spreads, lapse rates, mortality and reinsurance costs.

The amortization of DAC for mortgage insurance is based on expected gross margins. Expected gross margins, defined as premiums less losses, are set based on assumptions for future persistency and loss development of the business. These assumptions are updated for actual experience to date or as our expectations of future experience are revised based on experience studies. Due to the inherent uncertainties in making assumptions about future events, materially different experience from expected results in persistency or loss development could result in a material increase or decrease to DAC amortization for this business. For the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, key assumptions were unlocked in our international and U.S. mortgage insurance businesses to reflect our current expectation of future persistency and loss projections.

The following table sets forth the increase (decrease) on amortization of DAC related to unlocking of underlying key assumptions by segment for the years ended December 31:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   2009     2008     2007

Retirement and Protection

   $ (15   $ (1   $ 6

International

     3        4        2

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

     —          14        2
                      

Total

   $ (12   $ 17      $ 10
                      

The DAC amortization methodology for our variable products (variable annuities and variable universal life insurance) includes a long-term equity market average appreciation assumption of 8.5%. When actual returns vary from the expected 8.5%, we assume a reversion to the expected return over a three-year period. The assumed returns over this reversion to the expected return period are limited to the 85th percentile of historical market performance.

We regularly review DAC to determine if it is recoverable from future income as part of our loss recognition testing. For deposit products, if the current present value of estimated future gross profits is less than the unamortized DAC for a line of business, a charge to income is recorded for additional DAC amortization, and for certain products, an increase in benefit reserves may be required. For other products, if the benefit reserves plus anticipated future premiums and interest income for a line of business are less than the current estimate of future benefits and expenses (including any unamortized DAC), a charge to income is recorded for additional DAC amortization and potentially an increase in benefit reserves, to address any premium deficiency. The establishment of such a reserve is subject to inherent uncertainty and requires significant judgment and estimates to determine the present values of future premium and expected losses and expenses of our businesses. As of December 31, 2009, we believe all of our businesses have sufficient future income where the related DAC is recoverable based on our best estimates of morbidity, mortality, claim loss development, withdrawal or lapse rate, maintenance expense or interest rates expected to occur.

In the first quarter of 2009, loss recognition testing of our fee-based products in our retirement income business resulted in an increase in amortization of DAC of $54 million reflecting unfavorable equity market performance.

In 2008, loss recognition testing of our fee-based products in our retirement income business resulted in an increase in amortization of DAC of $55 million reflecting unfavorable equity market performance. In addition, based on management’s assessment of the claim loss development in the existing 2006 and 2007 books of

 

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business which may cause deterioration of expected future gross margins for these book years, we determined that unamortized DAC related to our U.S. mortgage insurance business was not recoverable and consequently recorded a charge of $30 million to DAC during 2008.

Continued low interest rates have reduced the recoverability margins on our immediate annuity products. Additional adverse variations in interest rates and/or mortality that we considered reasonably likely to occur in the future could result in the DAC associated with our immediate annuity products being no longer fully recoverable as well as requiring the establishment of additional benefit reserves. As of December 31, 2009, adverse variation that we consider reasonably likely would result in additional charge to income of approximately $25 million. However, more adverse variation could result in additional amortization of DAC or the establishment of additional benefit reserves, while any favorable variation would result in additional margin in our DAC loss recognition analysis and would result in higher income recognition over the remaining duration of the in-force block. We expect future sales of profitable immediate annuities will improve margins, which would reduce the likelihood that adverse variation in key assumptions would result in lower margin in our DAC loss recognition analysis.

As of December 31, 2009, we believe all of our other businesses have sufficient future income where the related DAC would be recoverable under adverse variations in morbidity, mortality, claim loss development, withdrawal or lapse rate, maintenance expense or interest rates that could be considered reasonably likely to occur. See notes 2 and 6 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to DAC.

Present value of future profits. In conjunction with the acquisition of a block of insurance policies or investment contracts, a portion of the purchase price is assigned to the right to receive future gross profits arising from existing insurance and investment contracts. This intangible asset, called PVFP, represents the actuarially estimated present value of future cash flows from the acquired policies. PVFP is amortized, net of accreted interest, in a manner similar to the amortization of DAC.

We regularly review our assumptions and periodically test PVFP for recoverability in a manner similar to our treatment of DAC. As of December 31, 2009, we believe all of our businesses have sufficient future income where the related PVFP is recoverable based on our best estimates of morbidity, mortality, withdrawal or lapse rate, maintenance expense and interest rates that are expected to occur.

Continued low interest rates and lower than expected termination rates have reduced the margins on our acquired long-term care insurance business. Additional adverse variations in morbidity and/or interest rates that could be considered reasonably likely to occur in the future would result in additional PVFP amortization or the establishment of additional benefit reserves to address any premium deficiency. As of December 31, 2009, adverse variation that we consider reasonably likely would result in additional charge to income of up to approximately $30 million assuming there is no increase in future premiums. However, more adverse variation could result in additional amortization of PVFP or the establishment of additional benefit reserves, while any favorable variation would result in additional margin in our PVFP loss recognition analysis and would result in higher earnings recognition over the remaining duration of the in-force block. As of December 31, 2009, we had $49 million of PVFP related to our individual and group long-term care insurance products.

As of December 31, 2009, we believe all of our other businesses have sufficient future income where the related PVFP would be recoverable under adverse variations in morbidity, mortality, withdrawal or lapse rate, maintenance expense or interest rates that could be considered reasonably likely to occur. For the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, there were no charges to income as a result of our PVFP recoverability or loss recognition testing. See notes 2 and 7 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to PVFP.

Goodwill. Goodwill represents the excess of the amounts paid to acquire a business over the fair value of its net assets at the date of acquisition. Subsequent to acquisition, goodwill could become impaired if the fair value

 

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of a reporting unit as a whole were to decline below the value of its individually identifiable assets and liabilities. This may occur for various reasons, including changes in actual or expected income or cash flows of a reporting unit or generation of income by a reporting unit at a lower rate of return than similar businesses.

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 one level below the operating segment. Under certain circumstances, interim impairment tests may be required if events occur or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying value.

The determination of fair value for our reporting units is primarily based on an income approach whereby we use discounted cash flows for each reporting unit. When available, and as appropriate, we use market approaches or other valuation techniques to corroborate discounted cash flow results. The discounted cash flow model used for each reporting unit is based on either: operating income or statutory distributable income, depending on the reporting unit being valued.

For the operating income model, we determine fair value based on the present value of the most recent income projections for each reporting unit and calculate a terminal value utilizing a terminal growth rate. The significant assumptions in the operating income model include: income projections, including the underlying assumptions; discount rate; and terminal growth rate.

For the statutory distributable income model, we determine fair value based on the present value of projected statutory net income and changes in required capital to determine distributable income for the respective reporting unit. The significant assumptions in the statutory distributable income model include: required capital levels; income projections, including the underlying assumptions; discount rate; new business projection period; and new business production growth.

The cash flows used to determine fair value are dependent on a number of significant assumptions based on our historical experience, our expectations of future performance and expected economic environment. Our estimates are subject to change given the inherent uncertainty in predicting future performance and cash flows, which are impacted by such things as policyholder behavior, competitor pricing, new product introductions and specific industry and market conditions. Additionally, the discount rate used is based on our judgment of the appropriate rate for each reporting unit based on the relative risk associated with the projected cash flows.

We consider our market capitalization in assessing the reasonableness of the fair values estimated for our reporting units in connection with our goodwill impairment testing. For businesses that do not have goodwill and are not subject to goodwill impairment testing, we estimate the values for those businesses when reconciling to our market capitalization. Additionally, we also consider the negative value that would be associated with corporate debt, which would be subtracted from the fair value of our businesses to calculate the total value attributed to equity holders. We then compare the total value attributed to equity holders to our market capitalization.

There were no goodwill impairment charges recorded in 2009. However, continued deteriorating or adverse market conditions for certain businesses may have a significant impact on the fair value of our reporting units and could result in future impairments of goodwill. More specifically, our risks associated with future goodwill impairments relate to our businesses with significant goodwill balances, including long-term care insurance, life insurance, wealth management and lifestyle protection insurance.

As part of our annual goodwill impairment testing, we noted that our long-term care insurance reporting unit’s fair value was less than its book value, and accordingly, we evaluated recoverability assuming fair value was allocated to assets and liabilities as if the reporting unit had been acquired in a business combination. This entire goodwill balance is recoverable based on this fair value evaluation. See notes 2 and 8 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to goodwill.

 

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Insurance liabilities and reserves. We calculate and maintain reserves for the estimated future payment of claims to our policyholders and contractholders based on actuarial assumptions and in accordance with industry practice and U.S. GAAP. Many factors can affect these reserves, including economic and social conditions, mortality and morbidity trends, inflation, healthcare costs, changes in doctrines of legal liability and damage awards in litigation. Therefore, the reserves we establish are necessarily based on estimates, assumptions and our analysis of historical experience. Our results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual claims experience is consistent with the assumptions we used in determining our reserves and pricing our products. Our reserve assumptions and estimates require significant judgment and, therefore, are inherently uncertain. We cannot determine with precision the ultimate amounts that we will pay for actual claims or the timing of those payments.

Insurance reserves differ for long- and short-duration insurance policies. Measurement of long-duration insurance reserves (such as guaranteed renewable term life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance products) is based on approved actuarial methods, and includes assumptions about expenses, mortality, morbidity, lapse rates and future yield on related investments. Short-duration contracts (such as lifestyle protection insurance) are accounted for based on actuarial estimates of the amount of loss inherent in that period’s claims, including losses incurred for which claims have not been reported. Short-duration contract loss estimates rely on actuarial observations of ultimate loss experience for similar historical events.

Estimates of mortgage insurance reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses are based on notices of mortgage loan defaults and estimates of defaults that have been incurred but have not been reported by loan servicers, using assumptions of claim rates for loans in default and the average amount paid for loans that result in a claim. As is common accounting practice in the mortgage insurance industry and in accordance with U.S. GAAP, loss reserves are not established for future claims on insured loans that are not currently in default. Management reviews quarterly the loss reserves for adequacy, and if indicated, updates the assumptions used for estimating and calculating such reserves. The establishment of our mortgage insurance loss reserves is subject to inherent uncertainty and requires judgment by management. The actual amount of the claim payments may vary significantly from the loss reserve estimates. Our estimates could be adversely affected by several factors, including a deterioration of regional or national economic conditions leading to a reduction in borrowers’ income and thus their ability to make mortgage payments, and a drop in housing values that could expose us to greater loss on resale of properties obtained through foreclosure proceedings. Our estimates are also affected by the extent of fraud and misrepresentation that we uncover in the loans that we have insured and the coverage upon which we have consequently rescinded or may rescind going forward. In considering the potential sensitivity of the factors underlying management’s best estimate of our U.S. and international mortgage insurance reserves for losses, it is possible that even a relatively small change in estimated claim rate (“frequency”) or a relatively small percentage change in estimated claim amount (“severity”) could have a significant impact on reserves and, correspondingly, on results of operations. Based on our actual experience during 2009, a reasonably likely quarterly change could be a $1,000 change in the average severity reserve factor combined with a 1% change in the average frequency reserve factor, which would change the gross reserve amount by approximately $107 million and approximately $29 million for our U.S. and international mortgage insurance businesses, respectively. As these sensitivities are based on our 2009 experience, given the high level of uncertainty in the economic environment, there is a reasonable likelihood that these changes in assumptions could occur in the near term. Adjustments to our reserve estimates are reflected in the consolidated financial statements in the years in which the adjustments are made.

In addition to the sensitivities discussed above, our more recent books of business in both our U.S. and international mortgage insurance businesses have experienced higher losses than our previous book years as a result of the global economic environment. In our U.S. mortgage insurance business, our 2005, 2006 and 2007 books of business have been experiencing delinquencies and incurred losses substantially higher than those generated from previous book years we have written. Early loss development patterns from these book years indicate that we would expect a higher level of total losses generated. Variations we consider reasonably likely could include an increase of 5% in these expected losses over a three-year period ending December 31, 2012 that would result in a decrease in after-tax operating results of approximately $85 million. Additional adverse

 

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variation could result in additional negative impacts while favorable variations would result in improved margins. Regardless of the ultimate loss development pattern on these books, we expect they will continue to generate significant paid and incurred losses for at least the next two years and thus will continue to have a significant adverse impact on our operating results over these same periods.

In our international mortgage insurance business, we anticipate reduced levels of losses as a result of improving housing markets and economies. However, if housing markets and economies do not improve as anticipated, we may experience increased losses. Variations we consider reasonably likely to occur could include an increase in projected losses for our international mortgage insurance business of between 25% and 35% over the next three-year period. If changes at these levels were to occur, operating results could be negatively impacted by approximately $180 million to approximately $250 million over this same period based on current foreign exchange rates. The potential for either additional adverse loss development or favorable loss development exists that could further impact our business underwriting margins.

Unearned premiums. In our international mortgage insurance business, the majority of our insurance contracts are single premium. For single premium insurance contracts, we recognize premiums over the policy life in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence. We recognize a portion of the revenue in premiums earned in the current period, while the remaining portion is deferred as unearned premiums and earned over time in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence. If single premium policies are cancelled and the premium is non-refundable, then the remaining unearned premium related to each cancelled policy is recognized to earned premiums upon notification of the cancellation. The expected pattern of risk emergence on which we base premium recognition is inherently judgmental and is based on actuarial analysis of historical experience. Changes in market conditions could cause a decline in mortgage originations, mortgage insurance penetration rates or our market share, all of which could impact new insurance written. For example, a decline in flow new insurance written of $1.0 billion would result in approximately a $3 million reduction in earned premiums in the first full year. However, this decline would be partially offset by the recognition of earned premiums from established unearned premium reserves primarily from the last three years of business.

As of December 31, 2009 and 2008, we had $4.7 billion of unearned premiums, of which $3.1 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively, related to our international mortgage insurance business. We recognize international mortgage insurance unearned premiums over a period of up to 25 years, most of which are recognized between three and seven years from issue date. The recognition of earned premiums for our international mortgage insurance business involves significant estimates and assumptions as to future loss development and policy cancellations. These assumptions are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance, which are highly dependent on assumptions as to long-term macroeconomic conditions including interest rates, home price appreciation and the rate of unemployment. We periodically review our expected pattern of risk emergence and make adjustments based on actual experience and changes in our expectation of future performance with any adjustments reflected in current period income. For the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, increases to earned premiums in our international mortgage insurance business as a result of adjustments made to our expected pattern of risk emergence and policy cancellation assumptions were $32 million, $53 million and $45 million, respectively.

Our expected pattern of risk emergence for our international mortgage insurance business is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty as to the underlying loss development and policy cancellation assumptions and the long duration of our international mortgage insurance policy contracts. Actual experience that is different than assumed for loss development or policy cancellations could result in a material increase or decrease in the recognition of earned premiums depending on the magnitude of the difference between actual and assumed experience. Loss development and policy cancellation variations that could be considered reasonably likely to occur in the future could result in an increase in operating results of up to $65 million or a decrease in operating results of up to $47 million, depending on the magnitude of variation experienced. It is important to note that the variation discussed above is not meant to be a best-case or worst-case scenario, and therefore, it is possible that future variation may exceed the amounts discussed above.

 

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In our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment, the majority of our insurance contracts have recurring premiums. We recognize recurring premiums over the terms of the related insurance policy on a pro-rata basis (i.e., monthly). Changes in market conditions could cause a decline in mortgage originations, mortgage insurance penetration rates and our market share, all of which could impact new insurance written. For example, a decline in flow new insurance written of $1.0 billion would result in approximately a $6 million reduction in earned premiums in the first full year. Likewise, if flow persistency declined on our existing insurance in-force by 10%, earned premiums would decline by approximately $57 million during the first full year, potentially offset by lower reserves due to policies no longer being in-force.

The remaining portion of our unearned premiums relates to our lifestyle protection and long-term care insurance businesses where the underlying assumptions as to risk emergence are not subject to significant uncertainty. Accordingly, changes in underlying assumptions as to premium recognition we consider being reasonably likely for these businesses would not result in a material impact on our results of operations.

Valuation of deferred tax assets. Deferred tax assets represent the tax benefit of future deductible temporary differences and operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to be in effect when such benefits are realized if there is no change in tax law. Under U.S. GAAP, we test the value of deferred tax assets for impairment on a quarterly basis at our taxpaying component level within each tax jurisdiction, consistent with our filed tax returns. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion, or all, of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. In determining the need for a valuation allowance, we consider carryback capacity, reversal of existing temporary differences, future taxable income and tax planning strategies. The determination of the valuation allowance for our deferred tax assets requires management to make certain judgments and assumptions regarding future operations that are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance. Our judgments and assumptions are subject to change given the inherent uncertainty in predicting future performance, which is impacted by such things as policyholder behavior, competitor pricing, new product introductions, and specific industry and market conditions. As of December 31, 2009, we have a net deferred tax liability of $211 million with a $153 million valuation allowance related to state and foreign gross deferred tax assets. We have a gross deferred tax asset of $1,156 million related to net operating loss carryforwards of $3,303 million as of December 31, 2009, which, if not used, will expire beginning in 2022.

Deferred taxes on permanently reinvested foreign income. We do not record U.S. deferred taxes on foreign income that we do not expect to remit or repatriate to U.S. corporations within our consolidated group. Under U.S. GAAP, we are generally required to record U.S. deferred taxes on the anticipated repatriation of foreign income as the income is recognized for financial reporting purposes. An exception under certain accounting guidance permits us not to record a U.S. deferred tax liability for foreign income that we expect to reinvest in its foreign operations and for which remittance will be postponed indefinitely. If it becomes apparent that some or all undistributed income will be remitted in the foreseeable future, the related deferred taxes are recorded in that period. In determining indefinite reinvestment we regularly evaluate the capital needs of our domestic and foreign operations considering all available information, including operating and capital plans, regulatory capital requirements, parent company financing and cash flow needs, as well as, the applicable tax laws to which our domestic and foreign subsidiaries are subject. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and our expectation of future performance. Our judgments and assumptions are subject to change given the inherent uncertainty in predicting future capital needs, which are impacted by such things as regulatory requirements, policyholder behavior, competitor pricing, new product introductions, and specific industry and market conditions. As of December 31, 2009, U.S. deferred income taxes were not provided on approximately $1,384 million of unremitted foreign income we considered permanently reinvested.

Contingent liabilities. A liability is contingent if the amount is not presently known, but may become known in the future as a result of the occurrence of some uncertain future event. We estimate our contingent liabilities based on management’s estimates about the probability of outcomes and their ability to estimate the range of

 

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exposure. Accounting standards require that a liability be recorded if management determines that it is probable that a loss has occurred and the loss can be reasonably estimated. In addition, it must be probable that the loss will be confirmed by some future event. As part of the estimation process, management is required to make assumptions about matters that are by their nature highly uncertain.

The assessment of contingent liabilities, including legal and income tax contingencies, involves the use of critical estimates, assumptions and judgments. Management’s estimates are based on their belief that future events will validate the current assumptions regarding the ultimate outcome of these exposures. However, there can be no assurance that future events, such as court decisions or IRS positions, will not differ from management’s assessments. Whenever practicable, management consults with third-party experts (including attorneys, accountants and claims administrators) to assist with the gathering and evaluation of information related to contingent liabilities. Based on internally and/or externally prepared evaluations, management makes a determination whether the potential exposure requires accrual in the consolidated financial statements.

 

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Consolidated Results of Operations

The following is a discussion of our consolidated results of operations and should be read in conjunction with “—Business trends and conditions.” For a discussion of our segment results, see “—Results of Operations and Selected Financial and Operating Performance Measures by Segment.”

The following table sets forth the consolidated results of operations:

 

    Years ended December 31,     Increase (decrease) and
percentage change
 

(Amounts in millions)

  2009     2008     2007     2009 vs. 2008     2008 vs. 2007  

Revenues:

             

Premiums

  $ 6,019      $ 6,777      $ 6,330      $ (758   (11 )%    $ 447      7

Net investment income

    3,033        3,730        4,135        (697   (19 )%      (405   (10 )% 

Net investment gains (losses)

    (1,041     (1,709     (332     668      39     (1,377   NM (1) 

Insurance and investment product fees and other

    1,058        1,150        992        (92   (8 )%      158      16
                                           

Total revenues

    9,069        9,948        11,125        (879   (9 )%      (1,177   (11 )% 
                                           

Benefits and expenses:

             

Benefits and other changes in policy reserves

    5,818        5,806        4,580        12      —       1,226      27

Interest credited

    984        1,293        1,552        (309   (24 )%      (259   (17 )% 

Acquisition and operating expenses, net of deferrals

    1,884        2,160        2,075        (276   (13 )%      85      4

Amortization of deferred acquisition costs and intangibles

    782        884        831        (102   (12 )%      53      6

Goodwill impairment

    —          277        —          (277   (100 )%      277      NM (1) 

Interest expense

    393        470        481        (77   (16 )%      (11   (2 )% 
                                           

Total benefits and expenses

    9,861        10,890        9,519        (1,029   (9 )%      1,371      14
                                           

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

    (792     (942     1,606        150      16     (2,548   (159 )% 

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

    (393     (370     452        (23   (6 )%      (822   (182 )% 
                                           

Income (loss) from continuing operations

    (399     (572     1,154        173      30     (1,726   (150 )% 

Income from discontinued operations, net of taxes

    —          —          15        —        —       (15   (100 )% 

Gain on sale of discontinued operations, net of taxes

    —          —          51        —        —       (51   (100 )% 
                                           

Net income (loss)

    (399     (572     1,220        173      30     (1,792   (147 )% 

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

    61        —          —          61      NM (1)      —        —  
                                           

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

  $ (460   $ (572   $ 1,220      $ 112      20   $ (1,792   (147 )% 
                                           

 

(1)

We define “NM” as not meaningful for increases or decreases greater than 200%.

2009 compared to 2008

Premiums. Premiums consist primarily of premiums earned on insurance products for life, long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance, single premium immediate annuities and structured settlements with life contingencies, lifestyle protection insurance and mortgage insurance.

 

   

Our Retirement and Protection segment decreased $346 million primarily attributable to a $410 million decrease in our retirement income business and a $15 million decrease in our life insurance business, partially offset by a $79 million increase in our long-term care insurance business.

 

   

Our Internat