b'Mergers & Acquisitions | Life SectorNorth America and BermudaCollaborations Between Insurers and Asset Managers A notable trend during 2020 was the continued interest of asset managers in acquiring or partnering with life and annuity carriers. In one prominent example, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (Brookfield) and American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (AEL) announced a strategic partnership whereby Brookfield agreed to acquire up to 19.9% in AELs equity and enter into a reinsurance transaction with a reinsurer formed by Brookfield to support continued growth opportunities for AELs fixed annuity business. Brookfield received one seat on American Equitys Board of Directors following the initial equity invest-ment, Brookfields reinsurance subsidiary agreed to reinsure up to $10 billion in annuity liabilities, and AEL will receive unique access to Brookfields alternative asset strategies.A similar example, albeit on a smaller scale, was the minority investment by Crestline Management L.P., an asset manager, in Midwest Holding Inc., together with a related reinsur-ance and asset management transaction.In August 2020, KKR & Co. Inc. (KKR) and Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited (Global Atlantic) entered into a strategic transaction whereby KKR agreed to acquire all of the out-standing shares of Global Atlantic, a retirement and life insurance company that is one of the largest fixed rate and fixed indexed annuity providers in the US. Under the terms of the agree-ment, KKR will pay Global Atlantic shareholders an amount equal to 1.0x Global Atlantics book value as of the date of closing, subject to an equity roll-over for certain existing shareholders. As of March 31, 2020, Global Atlantics announced book value was approximately $4.4 billion. After closing, Global Atlantic will continue to operate as a separate business with its existing brands and management team. KKR stated that the transaction meaningfully expands its base of permanent capital, further diversifies and scales its business, and significantly grows its position within the insurance industry, which has been increasing its exposure to alternative investment strategies, and that the transaction positions KKR to support Global Atlantic policy-holders through our global network and asset management and origination capabilities. Variable Annuity ReinsuranceThe low interest rate environment, which has persisted since the financial crisis of 2008, has created a significant challenge for writers of variable annuity contracts that offered guaranteed minimum crediting rates. Consequently, sales of variable annuity businesses have proved difficult to execute. Despite these challenges, several significant variable annuity transactions signed or closed during 2020. In one publicly announced transaction, Equitable Holdings, Inc. 14GLOBAL INSURANCE INDUSTRY | YEAR IN REVIEW2020'