Axar Capital Management announces the acquisition of Pavonia Life Insurance Company of Michigan


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Axar Capital Management LP (“Axar”) announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Pavonia Life Insurance Company of Michigan (“Pavonia”), a Michigan-based life insurance company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the acquisition, Axar partnered with Mark Zesbaugh, an executive with 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, who was named executive chairman of Pavonia.

“We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Pavonia,” said Andrew Axelrod, Founder and Managing Partner of Axar Capital. “We are also extremely pleased to have Mark Zesbaugh partner with Axar and lead the company as Executive Chairman. Mark is one of the most experienced and dynamic professionals in the industry and we look forward to working with him as he thoughtfully leads the business.

Mark Zesbaugh, Executive Chairman of Pavonia, said:I am excited about the opportunity to lead Pavonia. Our objective is to ensure the stability of the organization for the benefit of the policyholders, then to seek to create value in the longer term. With underwriting licenses in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, Pavonia has unique capabilities that allow us to explore medium-term sustainable and innovative growth opportunities.

About Mark Zesbaugh

Mark has spent nearly 30 years working in the insurance industry and advising entrepreneurial businesses. Most recently, Mark served as President and CEO of Security Life, a national life and health insurance company. Mark orchestrated the successful turnaround of the business and its final sale in 2016. From 1990 to 2007, Mark was instrumental in founding LifeUSA (a start-up Life Insurer, acquired by Allianz Life in 1999), leading the company as Chief Financial Officer from 1994 to 2002. , then as CEO from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure as CEO of Allianz Life, reserves grew from $10 billion to over $70 billion of dollars. Mark is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, with a BA in Accounting. He is also a Chartered Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.

Axar’s legal advisors included Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Dykema (Michigan) and Conyers (Cayman).

About Axar Capital Management LP

Axar Capital Management LP is an investment manager focused on value-oriented and opportunistic investing. Axar’s investment team focuses on opportunities across the capital structure in complex situations, event-driven opportunities and as a provider of debt and equity solutions that enable its partners and portfolio companies realize their long-term value potential. For more information, visit

About Pavonia Life Insurance Company of Michigan

Founded in 1980, Pavonia is a Michigan-domiciled life insurance company licensed to write business in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.


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