The Lightyear Fund Invests in The NAU Group. Investment Positions Crop Insurance Company for Growth
Investment Positions Crop Insurance Company for Growth
New York, NY, May 25, 2015 – Lightyear Capital, a private equity firm that manages more than $2 billion in assets, announced today that its primary investment vehicle, The Lightyear Fund, L.P., has completed a substantial investment in The NAU Group, a Minnesota-based company and industry leader in the market for crop insurance in the United States. The transaction will help strengthen NAU's balance sheet capital and position the company for continued expansion. Jim and Greg Deal, the founders and current managers of the company, will remain significant shareholders, continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the business, and participate on the Board of Directors with Lightyear.

Crop insurance indemnifies farmers against crop losses by guaranteeing a set crop price, yield or total revenue for the harvest period in exchange for a premium payment. NAU primarily offers insurance through the federally sponsored Multiple Peril Crop Insurance ("MPCI") program. The company offers its products through a network of agents by providing them with the technology and training to simplify the pricing, execution and submission of insurance policies in accordance with government regulations. NAU also works with claims adjusters to ensure that claims from its insured farmers are processed and filed quickly and without errors, allowing for speedy and accurate payment.

Donald B. Marron, chairman and chief executive officer of Lightyear Capital, said, "Our investment in NAU offers Lightyear the opportunity to partner with the premier management team in the crop insurance industry. Jim and Greg Deal are true pioneers, having been involved in initiating the successful partnership between the government and private sector in the early 1980's with a goal of improving the financial security of our nation's farming community. As a result of their efforts, crop insurance became a widely accepted commercial insurance product."

Commenting on the investment, Jim Deal said, "NAU has a well-deserved reputation for focusing on servicing our agents and farmers. Lightyear's investment will give NAU the financial resources and a strategic partner who can help us take our business forward as we continue to build on the quality of our service to our customers and agents. The partnership with Lightyear also enables NAU to maintain its strong culture as a family owned and operated business. We couldn't be more thrilled to have Lightyear as our partner."

MMC Securities Corp. acted as financial advisor to NAU in the transaction. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and FTN Financial Capital Markets served as co-placement agents for preferred term trust securities issued in conjunction with the transaction.

About The NAU Group
Headquartered in Ramsey, MN and with branch offices in Fargo, ND and Woodland, CA, NAU was the 7th largest writer of U.S. crop insurance in 2003. The company also maintains a broad network of local agents and claims adjusters across the country. NAU currently maintains an A- rating from A.M. Best. For more information, please visit

About Lightyear Capital LLC
Lightyear Capital is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in New York. Lightyear, through its three affiliated private equity funds, has raised over $2.5 billion of capital and makes primarily control investments in North America-based, middle-market financial services companies. Lightyear targets investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banks, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, and specialty finance. The firm brings unique strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. For more information, please visit