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May 18, 2015

UK railway pension manager boosts bets on ‘smart beta’ funds

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s railway pension manager RPMI will boost the money it invests in funds that replicate some of the active strategies of fund managers at lower cost to a third of its 21 billion pound portfolio.

The shift is part of a two-year portfolio rejig entering its final stage, which has seen RPMI cut its investments in actively-managed mutual and hedge funds, its Investment Director Ciaran Barr said in an interview.

May 14, 2015

Old Mutual first-quarter gross sales beat forecasts, up 18 percent

LONDON (Reuters) – Gross sales at Anglo-South African financial services firm Old Mutual (OML.L: Quote, Profile, Research) rose an above-forecast 18 percent to 7.3 billion pounds ($11.50 billion) in the first quarter, boosted by acquisitions, inflows and market gains.

Analysts in a company-supplied forecast had expected a 7 billion pound rise in sales for the quarter ending March 31, on a constant currency basis.

May 14, 2015

Old Mutual Q1 gross sales beat forecasts, up 18 pct

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – Gross sales at Anglo-South
African financial services firm Old Mutual rose an
above-forecast 18 percent to 7.3 billion pounds ($11.50 billion)
in the first quarter, boosted by acquisitions, inflows and
market gains.

Analysts in a company-supplied forecast had expected a 7
billion pound rise in sales for the quarter ending March 31, on
a constant currency basis.

May 12, 2015

UK pension reform hits Just Retirement sales

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – British pension reform which
reduced demand for interest-bearing annuities hit specialist
provider Just Retirement’s nine-month sales, but the
outlook for newer products cushioned the impact on the share
price.

The pension changes, announced last year, mean people who
are retiring no longer needed to buy an interest-bearing annuity
with their pension pots.

May 11, 2015

EU watchdog plans first pensions stress tests by end-2015

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s pensions and insurance watchdog aims to complete stress tests on pension funds by the end of 2015, its chairman said, in one of the world’s first examinations of how the funds can cope with market dislocations.

Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), told Reuters in an interview at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit that the regulator had a target to test pension funds representing up to 50 percent of assets or members across 17 EU countries.

May 11, 2015

Insurers’ dividend growth in doubt amid solvency worries

FRANKFURT/LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – Expectations of rising
dividends and share buybacks from Europe’s insurance companies
are fading as ultra low interest rates make it harder for them
to meet new capital regulations.

Rock-bottom interest rates reduce insurers’ investment
returns, raising the risk of them having to eat into capital
reserves to pay policyholders.

May 7, 2015

Aviva shuts Friends Life head office in rapid integration move

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – British insurer Aviva said
it was closing the London head office of recently bought Friends
Life as it reported rapid progress in integrating the
acquisition, a key part of a turnaround led by Chief Executive
Mark Wilson.

Aviva announced the agreed 5.6 billion pound ($8.5 billion)
Friends acquisition late last year, against a backdrop of UK
pension reforms allowing retirees more choice in spending their
pension pots, instead of being forced to buy an annuity – a key
source of income for the insurance industry.

May 6, 2015

Prudential will see strong first-half earnings, outgoing CEO says

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) – Prudential will post “very
strong” first-half earnings, outgoing chief executive Tidjane
Thiam said on Wednesday, as the insurer reported an 11 percent
decline in new business profit in the first quarter.

Thiam, who leaves at the end of the month to run Credit
Suisse, said a healthy performance in protection
insurance across the company’s Asian, U.S. and British divisions
would boost the broader earnings numbers when they are reported
in three months.

May 6, 2015

L&G says focus on infrastructure whatever election outcome

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) – Legal & General’s will
focus on long-term investment in British infrastructure and
property regardless of the outcome from this week’s general
election, the insurer said on Wednesday as it posted record
quarterly cash generation.

Britain will vote on May 7 with the two main parties level
in most polls and neither on track to command a majority.

May 1, 2015

Business as usual seen at Prudential under new CEO Wells

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Investors and analysts expect
business as usual at British insurer Prudential after it
appointed internal candidate Mike Wells, head of the company’s
U.S. arm, as successor to Tidjane Thiam.

The insurer set out targets at the end of 2013 to expand its
Asian life and investment management businesses, fuelled by
rising demand for insurance among Asia’s growing middle class.

    • About Carolyn

      "I have worked at Reuters for more than 20 years but I switched in Sept 2014 to a new beat - insurance and fund management. I write about things like insurance deals, fund trends, geopolitical risks insured by Lloyd's and I'm grappling with understanding company accounts. In my vanishingly small spare time, I hope to contribute more to Reuters entertainment file."
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