According to a recent article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Peachtree Financial’s Settlement Funding, a life insurance settlement company that recently merged with J.G. Wentworth, has laid off 155 workers at Peachtree’s Boynton Beach offices.
While 90 percent of the Boynton Beach staff is being laid off, 10 percent have been offered jobs and relocation to J.G. Wentworth’s headquarters in Radnor, Pa.
J.G. Wentworth and Peachtree Financial Solutions joined assets in July and are now owned by a privately held holding company, JGWPT. The layoffs are the result of anticipated cost savings of merging the two similar companies. J.G. Wentworth had previously filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 before merging with Peachtree earlier this year.
With this consolidation of these two companies, it is yet to be seen how it will otherwise affect the marketplace and industry. Will this merger stifle competition? Will sellers pay the price through higher rates? The short answer is no. Competition still exists if sellers take the time to look for it. However, this new market further emphasizes the growing need for sellers to get second bids to ensure deals are market driven and reasonable as envisioned in the spirit the state protection acts. It is also important for smaller players to enter the scene to reinvigorate competition in the marketplace.
Hank Didier is co-founder of Vantage Capital Consultants, a purchaser of structured settlements and annuities.