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Dec 8, 2014

UK anti-fraud agency nails its first convictions under new bribery laws

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Three men were jailed for
masterminding a 23 million pound ($36 million) biofuel
investment scam on Monday, in the first convictions by Britain’s
Serious Fraud Office (SFO) under tough new anti-bribery laws.

The Britons were executives or agents of Sustainable
AgroEnergy Plc, a company that promoted biofuel investment
products linked to southeast Asian plantations of jatropha
trees, once considered a wonder plant in the hunt for oil.

Dec 7, 2014

African insurers in vogue as incomes rise

LONDON/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A growing middle class in sub-Saharan Africa is enticing European and South African insurers to buy local firms focussing mainly on life insurance and pensions, in the face of mature markets and strong competition at home.

Rapid economic growth in countries such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria has increased the number of people with money to spend on insurance to protect their wealth, while regulatory changes are encouraging the growth of domestic savings and pensions.

Dec 2, 2014

Friends Life founder to focus on U.S., Europe buys

LONDON (Reuters) – The founder of Britain’s Friends Life (FLG.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) hopes to make two acquisitions in the United States in the next year following the $8.8 billion sale of the insurer to rival Aviva (AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Clive Cowdery, who founded Friends Life in 2008, stepped down from the board in a restructuring earlier this year, though the Aviva sale will bring his investment vehicle Resolution 220 million pounds ($344 million).

Dec 2, 2014

Aviva agrees terms of 5.6 billion pounds Friends takeover

LONDON (Reuters) – British insurer Aviva agreed terms on Tuesday for a 5.6 billion pounds all-share takeover of rival Friends Life, responding to pressures caused by pension industry reform.

Pension providers are rushing to revise their product ranges after the government in March surprisingly removed obligations for people to buy an annuity, or income for life, at retirement, hurting sales.

Dec 2, 2014

Aviva agrees terms of $8.8 billion Friends takeover

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – British insurer Aviva
agreed terms on Tuesday for a 5.6 billion pound ($8.8 billion)
all-share takeover of rival Friends Life, responding to
pressures caused by pension industry reform.

Pension providers are rushing to revise their product ranges
after the government in March surprisingly removed obligations
for people to buy an annuity, or income for life, at retirement,
hurting sales.

Dec 1, 2014

Aberdeen’s shares surge on cost savings, share buyback hopes

LONDON (Reuters) – Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management reported a “transformational” performance by its Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) acquisition on Monday and raised hopes of a share buyback, sending its shares to a near 11-month high.

The money manager also said flows into equity funds had improved in the fourth quarter after a companywide net outflow of 20 billion pounds ($31.3 billion) in the year to Sept. 30.

Dec 1, 2014

British fund manager Aberdeen hit by emerging markets gloom

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) – Fund manager Aberdeen Asset
Management cited weakness in emerging markets for 20
billion pounds ($31.3 billion) of net outflows that cast a
shadow over slightly better than expected full-year profit on
Monday.

Emerging market stocks have been flat this year,
with geopolitical risks from the Ukraine crisis and a drop in
oil prices weighing on shares. Emerging market sovereign bond
spreads have also widened sharply in recent months.

Nov 28, 2014

Smaller alternative funds complain of European ‘passport’ costs

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge fund and property fund managers are facing unexpected charges and administrative hurdles to sell their funds across Europe, deterring some from doing so and cutting across the principle of an open market, lawyers and fund managers say.

Europe’s directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD) came into force in July, regulating the managers but enabling them to sell their funds anywhere within the European Economic Area.

Nov 27, 2014

L&G wins 2.5 billion-pound defined benefit pension deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurer Legal & General has won a contract to take on 2.5 billion pounds of risk from TRW Automotive’s pension scheme and insure over 22,000 of its pensioners, as firms seek to offload costly pension liabilities.

Many British companies’ defined benefit – or final salary – schemes are in deficit, hampered by low interest rates which make it harder to achieve the investment returns needed to pay pensioners in the scheme.

Nov 27, 2014

L&G wins 2.5 bln stg defined benefit pension deal

LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Insurer Legal & General
has won a contract to take on 2.5 billion pounds ($3.95 billion)
of risk from TRW Automotive’s pension scheme and insure
over 22,000 of its pensioners, as firms seek to offload costly
pension liabilities.

Many British companies’ defined benefit – or final salary -
schemes are in deficit, hampered by low interest rates which
make it harder to achieve the investment returns needed to pay
pensioners in the scheme.

    • 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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