Carolyn's Feed
Mar 5, 2015

Aviva, Friends Life top forecasts ahead of $8.5 bln merger

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.

Mar 4, 2015

Legal & General eyes company deals as individual annuities wither

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.

Mar 3, 2015

Partnership Assurance profit halves as individual annuity sales fall

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.

Feb 27, 2015

Standard Life fund arm still unhappy with governance at Sports Direct, Afren

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.

Feb 27, 2015

Old Mutual seeks growth from existing businesses as profits jump

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.

The Anglo-South African group, which has a majority stake in South African bank Nedbank (NEDJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), went on a hiring spree last year but is in no rush to do more.

Feb 26, 2015

RSA swings into profit, targets more cost-cutting

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.

Feb 25, 2015

UK fund manager Henderson’s profits rise 13 pct, Q4 inflows weaken

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.

Feb 24, 2015

Just Retirement defies pension reform fears, shares soar

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
income-providing annuity.

Feb 19, 2015

Swiss Re posts special dividend, buyback after Q4 profits lag

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

Feb 18, 2015

Britain’s pension shake-up expected to hit life insurers’ profits

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.

    • 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."
    • Follow Carolyn