Seeking Alpha in the Afterlife: CMG Life Services and the Life Settlement Industry

Case Solution

Lauren H. Cohen
Harvard Business School ()

CMG Life Services’ work provides insight into the life settlement industry and shows the difficulties a young company faces in solving a market failure. This case takes advantage of CMG’s strategic dilemma to shed light on the mechanics of a small, inefficient market and how the success or failure of a market can sometimes hinge on more than intrinsic value. The case shows disagreement about the future of the industry, and even within the industry, as key players differ on the most promising way forward. Ultimately, the promise of the life insurance market may not be fulfilled for policyholders and investors alike, and the case highlights the strategic stalemate and the key factors that will dictate its resolution.

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