Unclaimed Assets Grow

Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, March15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 5

High stakes:

If you lose track of brokerage or bankaccounts, or if there's no activity in youraccount for several years, the state canstep in and take over the assets asunclaimed. With states scrounging forrevenue to cover budget shortfalls,they've discovered a new mother lodeknown as demutualization proceeds,which is money that investors are owedwhen insurance companies (eg, MetLifeand Prudential) switch from being mutualcompanies owned by their policyholdersto stock companies owned by shareholders.Several states have revised theirlaws to speed up the collection of theseassets. Prudential has $873million in demutualization proceeds dueto policyholders it can't find and MetLifeexpects to turn over 40 million unclaimedshares of its common stock to states overthe next 3 years. For more on this topic,visit www.unclaimedassets.com.