LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – Insurers Aviva Plc and
Friends Life Group Plc reported forecast-beating yearly
profits on Thursday, lifting their shares to multi-year highs
ahead of a 5.6 billion pound ($8.5 billion) agreed merger due to
complete next month.
Aviva is acquiring Friends Life as changes in the UK
pensions market put pressure on life insurance companies,
leading to a drop in their sales of income-bearing annuities.
LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Legal & General Plc on
Wednesday became the latest insurer to report a drop in demand
for personal annuities and growing reliance on sales to
companies, as full-year profits just lagged forecasts to send
its shares lower.
The UK life insurance industry has been shaken by pension
reforms to be implemented next month, which allow retirees to
use their pension pots as they choose rather than being
compelled to buy an annuity giving an income for life.
LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) – Annuity provider Partnership
Assurance said on Tuesday that total operating profit
dropped 51 percent to 64 million pounds ($98.48 million) in
2014, dented by a fall in the sales of individual annuities.
Specialist annuity providers have been hit by UK government
changes, to take effect from next month, which mean pensioners
no longer need to use their pension pots to buy individual
annuities, which give a regular income for life.
LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Standard Life Investments (SLI),
the fund arm of insurer Standard Life, said on Friday it
remained unhappy with governance at British companies Sports
Direct, Afren and Micro Focus International
The asset manager, which has 246 billion pounds ($380
billion) in funds under management, voted against management
recommendations in 907 resolutions in 2014, it said in its
annual governance and stewardship review.
LONDON (Reuters) – Financial services company Old Mutual (OML.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to focus this year on getting value from its existing businesses after reporting a 16 percent rise in 2014 operating profit that sent its shares to a record high.
LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Insurance company RSA
swung into profit in 2014 under the stewardship of former Royal
Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester but announced further
cost-cutting and the departure of its chief financial officer.
The firm, best known for its More Than home and motor
insurance brand, has been trying to turn itself around after
posting losses in 2013 following a series of weather-related
claims and an accounting scandal at its Irish unit.
LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – A strong performance in European
equity strategies helped to push asset manager Henderson’s
underlying profit up 13 percent in 2014, the company
said on Wednesday, and assets under management hit record highs.
But weaker net inflows in the fourth quarter led some
analysts to question whether the performance was sustainable.
LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Strong sales of insurance for
company pension schemes have helped Britain’s Just Retirement
to cope with reforms that have led to a drop in
individual pension annuities, it said on Tuesday, sending its
shares surging 18 percent.
Britain’s pension sector was thrown into turmoil last year
when the government said it would, from April this year, end the
requirement for retirees to use their pension savings to buy an
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Swiss Re, the world’s
second largest reinsurer, sweetened the hit from
forecast-lagging fourth-quarter results on Thursday by
announcing a special dividend and share buyback.
The Zurich-based firm said quarterly net profit was $245
million, against the $361 million seen in a poll of analysts by
LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – A shake-up of British pensions,
which gives savers more freedom over what they do with pension
pots, is expected to hit life insurers’ profits when the
companies start reporting 2014 results in the next few weeks.
The UK government last year surprised the industry with
plans to allow pensioners to spend their pension savings as they
choose, rather than having to buy an annuity, which gives an
income for life and is a big source of income for many insurers.