Kemper Corporation

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Kemper Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSEKMPR
Industry Insurance and Consumer Finance
Founded 1990
Headquarters One East Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key people Donald G. Southwell, Chairman, President & CEO
Total assets Over $8 billion (2011)[1]
Employees 7,000+ (2011)

Kemper Corporation (formerly known as Unitrin) is one of America's major insurance and consumer finance providers. The group of companies specializes in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance products for individuals, families, and small businesses.[2]


Historical logo

Unitrin, Inc. was founded in April 1990 when it was spun off from Henry Singleton's conglomerate Teledyne. Singleton hoped that the spin-off of Unitrin would duplicate the successful results of the Argonaut Group, originally a worker's compensation insurance provider, spun off in 1986. Argonaut's original $20 per share stock appreciated 240 percent by 1990.

Argonaut Group is now known as Argo Group International Holdings (NASDAQAGII). Singleton remained Chairman of Unitrin after it was spun off to shareholders at $31.25 per share, trading on NASDAQ. Unitrin divided its business into three major categories: life and health insurance; property and casualty insurance; and consumer finance, which covered a variety of services including automobile and industrial loans.

During the second part of 1994, Unitrin was targeted for a hostile takeover because of its increasing success. American General Corp., an insurance carrier headquartered in Houston, sent a $2.6 billion takeover bid. On June 26, Unitrin rejected the $50.38 per share offer and adopted a poison pill defense by initiating a stock buyback plan of ten million shares or 19% of its stock. American General then took Unitrin to court. A Delaware Chancery Court judge agreed and issued a restraining order against Unitrin's proposed stock buyback until September 27, 1994. Unitrin continued to resist the merger offer, and, on December 13, 1994, the Delaware Supreme Court overturned the lower court's injunction, allowing Unitrin to continue buying back its stock. (For details see Unitrin, Inc. v. American General Corp.) As 1994 ended, Unitrin's total revenues rose slightly to $1.37 billion, just over the previous year's $1.36 billion. However, Unitrin's net income rose from $95 million in 1993 to a shocking $148 million for 1994 fiscal year. As Unitrin entered its fifth year as an independent company, it continued buying back its stock to keep American General and, possibly, other suitors at bay. By the end of 1995, Unitrin had bought back 13.5 million shares at a cost of $661 million. Unitrin's poison pill defense worked: American General's takeover bid expired on February 7, 1995 and was not renewed.[3]

Eventually, Unitrin took the Kemper Corporation name. Starting August 25, 2011, Unitrin officially began operations as Kemper Corporation, with trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the KMPR ticker symbol.[4]

Kemper subsidiaries[5][edit]

Property and casualty insurance[edit]

Alpha Property & Casualty Insurance Company
Charter Indemnity Company
Financial Indemnity Company
Kemper Independence Insurance
Merastar Insurance Company
Mutual Savings Fire Insurance Company
National Merit Insurance Company
Response Insurance Company
Response Worldwide Direct Auto
Response Worldwide Insurance Company
Trinity Universal Insurance Company
Union National Fire Insurance Company
United Casualty Insurance Company of America
Unitrin Advantage Insurance Company
Unitrin Auto and Home Insurance Company
Unitrin Casualty Insurance Company of America
Unitrin Advantage Insurance Company
Unitrin Auto & Home Insurance Company
Kemper Direct
Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty Company
Unitrin Preferred Insurance Company
Unitrin Safeguard Insurance Company
Valley Property & Casualty Insurance Company
Warner Insurance Company

Life and health insurance[edit]

Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company
Reserve National Insurance Company
The Reliable Life Insurance Company
Union National Life Insurance Company
United Insurance Company of America

Affiliated insurance companies[edit]

Fireside Bank
Capitol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company
Old Reliable Casualty Company
Unitrin County Mutual Insurance Company


  1. ^ "Kemper Corporation". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  2. ^ "Kemper Corporation". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  3. ^ "Funding Universe - Unitrin Inc Company History". 1997. Retrieved 2007-12-09.  Funding Universe obtained this article from International Directory of Company Histories 16. St. James Press. 1997. 
  4. ^ "Unitrin Changes Name to Kemper". 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Kemper Corporation – Affiliated Companies". Retrieved 2011-08-31. 

External links[edit]