Case | HBS Case Collection | May 1996

First Capital Holdings Corp.

by Stuart C. Gilson, Harry DeAngelo and Linda DeAngelo

Abstract

The manager of a money-management firm considers whether to invest in the securities of a large, financially troubled, California-based life insurance holding company that holds 40% of its assets in high-yield junk bonds. Over the past year, the value of its portfolio has declined significantly, and it is seeking a large infusion of capital from its largest (28%) shareholder--a New York-based investment bank--that is experiencing financial difficulties of its own. Within the last month, another large California-based insurance company that also invested heavily in junk bonds was seized by regulators following a "run on the bank" by concerned policyholders, and the State Insurance Commissioner has publicly announced his intention to "crack down" on abuses in the insurance industry.

Keywords: Risk Management; Debt Securities; Bonds; Valuation; Investment Return; Fair Value Accounting; Financial Institutions; Insurance Industry;

Citation:

Gilson, Stuart C., Harry DeAngelo, and Linda DeAngelo. "First Capital Holdings Corp." Harvard Business School Case 296-032, May 1996.