AIG Unit Completes Purchase of Woodbury, Investors Return to Apartment Stocks: Financial Business Wrap

In a Monday press release, American International Group (NYSE:AIG) said that its life and retirement division, AIG Life and Retirement, purchased Woodbury Financial Services from the Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG). The parties had completed a definitive agreement for the acquisition on July 31st. Woodbury Financial Services is now a part of AIG Life and Retirements Advisor Group, which is one of the country’s largest networks of independent broker-dealers, and brings about 1,400 advisors and $25 billion in assets under management to the Advisor Groups network, including FSC Securities Corporation, Royal Alliance Associates and SagePoint Financial.

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The surprise purchase last week of Archstone by SamZell’s Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) and  AvalonBay Communities (NYSE:AVB) is bringing back investor interest to apartment stocks after four months of decline. The parties paid $16 billion to buy Archstone from Lehman Brothers, ending a plan by the latter for an IPO of its biggest asset along with stopping a 13 percent slide in apartment stocks since their peak in July. The slump was begun by worries that rising homeownership and new construction would dampen landlords’ ability to hike rents as a giant share sale was dumped on the market.

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