Transamerica's history dates back to 1904, when Amadeo Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco, California.
The bank served the working class residents of the city, including many Italians living in the North Beach neighborhood. The bank survived the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 and was one of the first to offer loans to businesses to help rebuild the city.
After years of expansion, the Bank of Italy merged with the Bank of America in the 1920s. The bank assumed the name of Bank of America.
In 1930, Gianni acquired a major insurance company, Occidental Life Insurance, through a holding company he named Transamerica. Occidental had been founded soon after Gianni’s Bank of Italy – in 1906, also on the West Coast.
The Transamerica Pyramid
After decades of expansion, Transamerica commissioned architect William Pereira to design a new headquarters in San Francisco. The Transamerica Pyramid was completed in 1972, and remains San Francisco's tallest building.
Transamerica's headquarters are no longer in San Francisco, however the Pyramid is still owned by Aegon and remains an integral part of Transamerica's logo.
Aegon acquired Transamerica in 1999. It was the largest purchase ever made by a Dutch company overseas and the second largest in the US insurance industry.
Transamerica operates under its own brand name in North America, and remains one of the most-familiar names in the American insurance industry.