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Independent Insurance Group LLC Announces the Signing of a Definitive Agreement for the Acquisition of Sterling National Life Insurance Company

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Independent Insurance Group LLC (“Independent Group”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Sterling National Life Insurance Company (“Sterling National”) from SILAC Insurance Company (“SILAC”).  

Independent Life Insurance Company (“Independent Life”), Independent Group's life and annuity subsidiary, is focused on the primary issuance of structured settlement annuities, with the mission of helping personal injury victims and their families meet their financial needs over their lifetimes.  Independent Group was founded by management and LKCM Headwater Investments, the private equity arm of Luther King Capital Management, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm based in Fort Worth, Texas.  Sterling National, licensed in 33 states and the District of Columbia, ceased writing insurance business in early 2020. 

“This acquisition is a key element of our broader strategy to continually enhance our overall business profile,” said George Luecke, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Independent Group. “Building upon the strong foundation we have created to date, Sterling National brings us licenses in the majority of states across the U.S., further expanding our footprint, market presence and diversification potential.”

“2020 was a year of many accomplishments for us,” added Michael Upchurch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Independent Group.  “We will continue to take prudent steps to benefit our company, brokers and payees, and bring innovation and growth to our industry.  We are looking forward to making further positive announcements in 2021.”

Dan Acker, President of SILAC, commented “We are pleased to announce the sale of Sterling National, a wholly owned subsidiary of SILAC, to Independent Group. This transaction will allow us to continue our focus on providing valuable fixed annuity products through more than 11,000 agents and advisors under the SILAC brand. SILAC will remain domiciled in Utah and this transaction will not impact any of our employees”.

Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.  Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel and Fletcher Financial, Inc. acted as broker to Independent Group in this transaction.  The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.  

ABOUT INDEPENDENT INSURANCE GROUP

Independent Life, Independent Group's life and annuity subsidiary, is the first insurance company to focus exclusively on structured settlements.  Independent Group's goal is to provide competitive and innovative annuity products and services that professional consultants can efficiently integrate into their settlement planning solutions, for the long-term protection of personal injury victims and their families.  Among other significant achievements since its formation, Independent Life was recognized as the second fastest growing life and annuity insurance company in 2019 by S&P Global Market Intelligence1.  For additional information on Independent Life, please visit www.independent.life.

ABOUT SILAC INSURANCE COMPANY

SILAC was established in 1935. The company is Utah's oldest active life insurance company and among the state's largest insurers. Licensed in 47 states and the District of Columbia, SILAC has focused on meeting the life and health insurance needs of seniors for decades. Since entering the annuity market in 2018, they have grown their annuity product line and premium revenue to over $3 billion in annual sales. For additional information, please visit www.SILACins.com.

ABOUT LKCM HEADWATER INVESTMENTS

LKCM Headwater Investments is a Texas-based private equity firm that partners with management teams to build highly successful companies.  LKCM Headwater Investments is affiliated with Luther King Capital Management, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm established in 1979 with $21.6 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2020.  LKCM's proven investment discipline centers on a long-term focus of investing in well-managed companies that demonstrate an ability to re-invest cash flows into high return investment opportunities.

1 S&P Global Market Intelligence 6.9.2020

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SOURCE Independent Insurance Group

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Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong Recruit Local Talents for “ReMix · Yesterday’s Future, Invent Tomorrow!”

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Relaunch Historical Hong Kong Brands to Achieve New Heights

 

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 9 February
2021 – Industrial Designers Society of Hong
Kong (IDSHK)
has always strived to promote the professional standards
of industrial designs and to elevate the professional status of industrial
designers in Hong Kong.

For the first time, IDSHK will organize the “ReMix · Yesterday’s Future, Invent
Tomorrow!
(Remix) program. The program will bring local industrial designers and historical
Hong Kong brands together, with the alliance of igniting creativity sparks and
infusing new perspectives into established brands. The brands that will
collaborate for the program are: Made
by
Carmel, Chicks, Red Apple, Yuet Tung China Works X Tung Hing Glass
& Metal Ware and AXIS watch
.

“Remix” is now
inviting talented designers, design teams or companies to participate in this year’s
program: relaunch historical Hong Kong brands to achieve new heights.

The “ReMix” program aims to align design teams
with the collaborating brands. All new products will be design-led throughout
the product development process, creating a series of products with unique style
and characters.

Mr. Leung Chun-Fai, President of the Hong Kong Industrial
Designers Association said: “Most people have limited understanding of industrial
design in Hong Kong because industrial designers have always been the unsung heroes
behind international brands. Through this program, we spark to showcase the
charm of Hong Kong designs, let people enjoy the results of excellent designs
and appreciate Hong Kong brands from new perspectives, and thus achieving a triple
win situation!”

To participate in the program, applicants have to first submit
their CVs and past portfolios. Then the applicants put forward the brands they
are interested in, together with the reasons for their choices and views on future
busines opportunities on the program website. The short-listed applicants will then
be invited to present their design ideas to representatives of the brands and
the assessment panel in an interview via video conference. Finally, the selected
applicants will collaborate and design new products with leading local brands, and
be awarded royalty fees and design credits for their new products. Apart from media
interviews for the selected designers, the new products will be promoted in roving
exhibitions and major online and offline sales channels.

Application starts on 18 January 2021. Deadline for the
first part of the application is 28 February 2021. For more details, please
visit the IDSHK website at http://www.idshk.org/yesterdays-future-invent-tomorrow/.
For further questions, please send email to [email protected]
or call 3586 8831 directly.

 

Important Dates:

Application starts

Email: from
18 January 2021

Online: from
18 February 2021

Deadline for
1st part of the application
(CV and portfolio submission)

28 Feb 2021

Deadline for 2nd
part of the application
(indicate brand choice(s), reasons, and insights)

10 March 2021

Interviews

29 March 2021

Announcement

Early April
2021

New Product
Development and Production

Early April
to December 2021

 

Application Eligibility:

  • Team of 1-3 designers (at
    least half of the team members must be a HKID card holder) OR a Hong Kong registered
    company.
  • One of the team members
    must be

–  a member of IDSHK

–  OR an industrial designer with qualification*
and at least 3 years of working experience

–  OR an industrial designer without relevant
qualification but have more than 5 years of working experience in product
design.

*Qualification means a recognized diploma/ associate
degree/ university degree holder or above in product/ industrial design or
related disciplines.

 

Advisory /& Assessment Panel:

Mr. LEUNG
Chun-Fai

President,
Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong (IDSHK)

Dr. Charles
CHAN

Founder
and Director
, Tunbow Group

Mr. Tommy LI

Creative
Director
, Tommy Li Design Workshop Ltd.

Mr. MUI
Yiu-Cheung (Kelvin)

Founding
Director
, Axiom Design Partnership Ltd.

Ms. Agatha
TSANG

Founder,
Bon Bone Design

Mr. Elmond
CHEUNG

Vice
President
, city’super brand, City Super Group

About Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong

Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong (IDSHK) is a non-profit organization founded in 2002. IDSHK aims to promote state-of-the-art and professional practice of Hong Kong’s industrial design, and to leverage its status. In 2004, IDSHK has established and implemented the “Professional Practice & Contract Template for Hong Kong Industrial Designers”. It is expected to foster the public interests to the value of industrial design (ID).

IDSHK promotes knowledge exchange regularly through ID seminars, knowledge-sharing forums, mentor workshops and visits to the international ID Expo & Forum in China. IDSHK has successfully established collaborations and strategic alliance partnership with industrial bodies and education institutes.

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Fruitually keeps the supply of fruits to meet with the sales boom of the festive season

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 9 February 2021 – The Chinese New Year is approaching, and the sales boom
of fruits has begun. As the epidemic has dealt hard blows to the wholesale
fruit market, citizens chose to buy fruits through online fruit shops this
year. According to the inquiry, many online fruit shops have launched Chinese
New Year fruit baskets and provide door-to-door delivery service. Huang Yichao,
the CEO of Fruitually, the local
fruit shop in Hong Kong, said that they have prepared well in advance to deal
with the sales boom to ensure that consumers can buy high-quality fruits at
reasonable prices.

 

High-quality imported fruits have been viral

Since the epidemic broke out last year, more and more people
have been aware of the importance of health. In order to strengthen the immune
system, and to avoid cross-infection, more and more people are pursuing healthy
eating. Mr. Huang said that since the epidemic, the online sales of fruit shops
have increased by around 20% compared to the past, and even in short supply.
And Kiwi, strawberries, bananas, citrus, and other fruits that can strengthen the
immune system are more popular among citizens.

 

In recent years, exotic fruits such as strawberry, lotus
mist, dragon fruit, durian, and sugar apple have shown a trend of rising in
volume and price. On the other hand, the demand for imported high-end fruits is
also on the rise, it reveals that Hong Kong people are looking for diversified
tastes. “Hong Kongers enjoy the quality of life, and in the New Year, they
may eat a lot during the festival, so more are looking for nice fruits.”
Mr. Huang mentioned:” Some high-end imported fruits such as kiwis, and strawberries,
which is handpicked, are very popular with Hong Kong citizens, and they were
once sold out.”

 

Fruits with good meanings have been people’s choice for the new year

As the festive season approaches, the festive fruits are
welcomed by Hong Kongers. In order to cater to the needs of consumers, many
online fruit shops have launched Chinese New Year fruit boxes. Fruits with a
good meaning are included in Chinese New Year gift boxes. Apple means peace,
citrus means good fortune, and dragon fruit means prosperity. In addition, the
new favorite fruits such as strawberries, grapes, and so on are also included
in the gift box.

 

Online fruit shopping has become a trend.

Since the global epidemic, Hong Kongers have canceled their
shopping trips and chose to shop online more at home. Online fruit shopping has
also shown an upward trend. In addition to the epidemic, it also means that the
quality and the service are recognized by more and more people. Take Fruitually
as an example, in addition to the advantages such as convenience, speed, and
variety, the main feature is low price and high quality. As online fruit sales
have high requirements for fruit quality, distribution efficiency, storage, and
transportation, to the brand-new fruit sales mode, the road still needs to be
explored and kept up with the times.

In addition, as the Lunar New Year is approaching, it must
be reminded that the epidemic is still raging and that gatherings should be
minimized as much as possible during the Lunar New Year, and whether it is
online shopping or shopping in stores, protection and disinfection must be
done.

About Fruitually Hong Kong fruit online shop

“Fruitually ” is a local online fruit company. The company team has more than ten years of experience in fruit procurement. It takes the highest quality fruit, the most reasonable price, and the most convenient delivery service as its principles. In addition to the store, it also provides online fruit ordering and door-to door delivery services. https://www.fruitually.com/

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A1 WORKMAN responds to the market of the home renovation trends

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 9 February
2021 – Although Covid-19 has brought depression to the world, it does not
affect the “customization enthusiasm” in Hong Kong’s renovation industry,
rather, it helps the business to grow. Whether it is office renovation or
household renovation, many people hope to improve productivity by personalizing
the space, which further helps to improve their quality of life and the efficiency
at work.

Business
owners renovate their offices with emphasis on practicality and flexibility of
space

According
to the latest published report on January 2021, Premium Office Rent Tracker,
December 2020, office rents in Central and Eastern districts Hong Kong are
among the top 20 in the world. Among them, rents of the central districts are
the most expensive, reaching the cost of 
$240/square feet every year. Moreover, as the Hong Kong marketing
environment is changing rapidly, the traditional office working mode needs to
adapt to the constantly changing needs for the work environment. Due to the
great impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s inevitable for the companies to
make some adjustments, whether integrate or expanse business, therefore, the question
for business owners to consider is how to make the best use of the small space.

John Wong, the manager of A1 WORKMAN, said that more than 30% of
customers choose to renovate their offices and use the custom furniture
services in order to maximize the use of the space as well as coordinating the
office styles. Besides, customers desire to have more than just a flexible
office space but an office to meet the future intelligence requirement.


The
large amount of old houses increase the need for second-hand apartments renovation

 

According
to the reports from Centaline Property Agency, 60% of apartments purchased by
Hong Kong consumers are among the categories of buildings aged 15 years or
above and secondhand houses. These second-hand apartments are worrying many
residents as they might have safety issues or structural problems, therefore,
there are increase demands of old house renovation services in Hong Kong. “We
too receive a lot of inquires from people regarding the renovation services,
many property buyers tend to renovate their secondhand apartments before moving
in, and before the renovation starts, demolition and restoration need to be
done first. On the other hand, some people are concerned about the water-proof
ability because the buildings are old, so they also want to use the renovation
service.

Though people are fond of online shopping for disinfection
home appliances and DIY small projects, they still rely on renovation companies
for the big projects.


According to our survey, over 40% of property
owners hope to redefine their homes based on their own aesthetic and living habits,
creating the “ideal home” in accord with the personality and needs. However,
most people are not able to do it due to the lack of time and the lack of
skill, they may do some DIY works for small items, yet they still rely on
renovation companies for the bigger project. In addition, people stay home
longer now because of the pandemic and many families choose to order home
appliances online, as a result, some Hong Kong renovation firms decided to
establish the online stores for household appliances to meet this need. Take A1
WORKMAN for example, they set up a website for online home appliance purchase
which not only provides online inquiry services but also delivery and on-site instillation
service in areas like Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Kwai Tsing, etc.
According to A1 WORKMAN, the best selling products are sterilization air
conditioner, fan, air purifier, vacuum cleaner, kitchen appliances and so on.

The use of space in the future is sure to
change along with the development of the society, it is going to suit the needs
of everyday life and the change of home/office settings. No matter the development,
the first and foremost requirement is to be safe and practical. In a word, the
priority of renovation and remodeling is to focus on quality and safety.

About A1 WORKMAN

A1 WORKMAN is a professional renovation company in Hong Kong. It undertakes various renovation projects. Their business includes: home decoration, air-conditioning engineering, store and warehouse decoration, banner production, office and building construction, building inspection, aluminum window construction, home furnishing and commercial demolition and restoration, door lock installation and change. https://workman.com.hk/

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