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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.

Feb 15, 2015

Insurers prove laggards in technology race

LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – At a time the financial sector is
racing to embrace digital technology to boost sales and drive
profits, the traditionally staid insurance industry is in danger
of falling behind.

Some insurers are using developments such as telematics, or
social media sources, to increase the amount of information they
have about customers to reduce claims and theoretically make
insurance cheaper for all.

Feb 12, 2015

Royal London warns on British pension reforms

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Looming British pension reforms
that give more freedom in planning for the costs of retirement
have been ill-planned and run the risk of consumers making poor
financial choices, a major pensions supplier warned on Thursday.

Royal London, Britain’s largest mutually owned
life, pensions and investment company, was speaking weeks before
reforms take effect which mean pensioners will no longer be
forced to use their pension pots to buy an annuity, which gives
an income for life.

Feb 6, 2015

Standard Life to offer financial advice with Pearson Jones buy

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurer Standard Life (SL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has entered the UK financial advice business by buying British firm Pearson Jones from Skipton Building Society (SKI_p.L: Quote, Profile, Research), responding to pension reforms that will boost demand.

Britain’s fourth-biggest insurer, with a market capitalization of just under 10 billion pounds, said on Friday Pearson Jones had 1.1 billion pounds ($1.69 billion) in assets under advice. It did not disclose the purchase price.

Jan 27, 2015

L&G to allocate 1.5 bln stg to UK regeneration fund

LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Insurer Legal & General
said on Tuesday it would allocate 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3
billion) to a new British fund for infrastructure projects and
seek external financing to expand its size to 15 billion pounds.

Chief Executive Nigel Wilson wants L&G, which manages over
$1 trillion in British pension fund assets, to invest in Britain
together with overseas sovereign wealth funds.

Jan 23, 2015

Boss of collapsed UK hedge fund Weavering jailed for 13 years

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The former boss of failed hedge
fund Weavering, the collapse of which cost investors $536
million, was sent to jail for 13 years on Friday, one of the
longest for fraud in Britain.

Magnus Peterson, 51, was found guilty by a London court this
week on eight counts of fraud, forgery, false accounting and
fraudulent trading but was acquitted on seven other charges
after a 12-week trial that delved into the complex world of
hedge fund investing.

Jan 16, 2015

Investors say EU cash, commitment needed for infrastructure plan to fly

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Europe needs to come up with more
government money and more details if its grand plan to spur
growth via new infrastructure projects is to get off the ground,
according to the investors being asked to stump up most of the

There is no shortage of interest in putting money into
public projects from insurers and pension funds hungry for
stable, long-term returns that match their liabilities better
than bombed-out government bond yields.

Jan 14, 2015

Legal & General could invest with foreign partners in British infrastructure: CEO

LONDON (Reuters) – Legal & General (L&G) is keen to invest in British property and infrastructure together with overseas sovereign wealth funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the UK insurer’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

L&G’s $1.1 trillion in assets under management and investment in housing and transport schemes mean it wants to be seen as a sovereign wealth fund for Britain, CEO Nigel Wilson told Reuters in an interview.

Jan 8, 2015

Old Mutual will consider raising India joint venture stake: CEO

LONDON (Reuters) – Anglo-South African financial services firm Old Mutual will discuss with partner Kotak Mahindra upping its stake in their Indian joint insurance venture following a rule change, Old Mutual’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

Old Mutual is also still looking to expand in sub-Saharan Africa, Julian Roberts told Reuters in an interview, though prices were rising for insurance businesses, as European and South African firms compete for a slice of this underpenetrated market.

Dec 30, 2014

Songbird tells shareholders to take no action on $4 billion bid

LONDON (Reuters) – Canary Wharf owner Songbird Estates Plc (SBDE.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has told shareholders to take no action on a Qatari-led $4 billion (2.57 billion pounds) takeover bid, reiterating that the 350 pence per share cash offer undervalued the company.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and U.S. investor Brookfield Property Partners LP (BPY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) earlier published their final offer document for the majority owner of the London financial district and Songbird said on Tuesday it would send a formal response within the next 14 days.

    • 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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