Transamerica Corporation

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Transamerica Corporation
Industry Insurance
Founded 1930
Headquarters Transamerica Tower
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Key people
Mark W. Mullin, President & CEO
Products Life insurance
Parent Aegon

The Transamerica Corporation is an American private holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms doing business primarily in the United States. It was acquired by the Dutch company Aegon in 1999. [1]


Transamerica began as a holding company controlled by A. P. Giannini, then head of Bank of America and founder of its predecessor, the Bank of Italy in San Francisco.[2] Giannini acquired Occidental Life Insurance Company through Transamerica Corporation in 1930.

In 1930, Transamerica and the Theodore Gary & Company, together with British investors, invested in Associated Telephone Utilities, reshaping it into the General Telephone and Electric Corporation to compete against ITT.[3]

Transamerica, which also owned the Occidental Life Insurance Company (renamed Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company in the early 1980s), intended to create a nationwide bank. Occidental had first opened its doors to customers in 1906. However, in 1956, because of the passage of the Bank Holding Company Act, Transamerica Corporation divested itself of its banking concerns, which were spun off as Firstamerica Corporation. This left Transamerica with life insurance and property and casualty insurance operations.

Over the next 20 years, Transamerica gradually became a diversified conglomerate which included United Artists (a major motion picture studio and record company), Transamerica Airlines, Budget Rent A Car, and a manufacturer of machinery.[2]

In 1972, construction of the Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper in San Francisco was completed. The company's headquarters was located in the building for many years, although today it retains only a small presence in the building. Nevertheless, the company's logo still depicts the iconic building and the firm continues the pyramid logo on its marketing materials.

In the early 1990s, the company briefly entered the UK market.[4]

In July 1999, with Frank C. Herringer as CEO, Transamerica Corporation was acquired by Aegon,[2] an insurance company based in the Netherlands. Transamerica Finance Corporation, responsible for commercial lending, was subsequently sold to GE Commercial Finance in 2003.

During the period 2003-2006 Transamerica Capital invested in several musical productions[5] including two that played on Broadway (Hot Feet and Brooklyn: The Musical)[6] but subsequently discontinued this venture.


Today, Transamerica's products are distributed by the following entities:

  • Transamerica Affinity Markets
  • Transamerica Agency Network, Inc.
  • Transamerica Capital, Inc.
  • Transamerica Employee Benefits
  • Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
  • Transamerica Insurance & Investment Group
  • Transamerica Retirement Services
  • World Financial Group

Professional golfer sponsorships[edit]

Transamerica sponsors professional golfers Zach Johnson and Kyle Stanley. Transamerica and Aegon have been Zach Johnson's primary sponsors since he joined the PGA Tour in 2004 and has won both the 2007 Masters Tournament, 2007 AT&T Classic and the 2015 British open. Kyle Stanley was recently winner of the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ TAGLIABUE, JOHN. "Big Dutch Insurer to Acquire Transamerica for $9.7 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "History". Transamerica. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  3. ^ "Phone Group Joined by Transamerica", New York Times (October 6, 1930)
  4. ^ Hirschkorn, Liran. "Transamerica Life Insurance". BLQ. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  5. ^ The People In The Pyramid Give Their Regards To Broadway
  6. ^ As ‘Hot Feet’ Ends Run on Broadway, Transamerica Is Content New York Times July 19, 2006

External links[edit]