August 24, 2017 / 6:42 AM / a year ago

UK's Phoenix Group targets deals in bulk annuities market

Aug 24 (Reuters) - British life insurer Phoenix Group plans to compete “selectively on accretive” bulk annuity deals in response to the large number of portfolios on the market, it said on Thursday.

Bulk annuity deals involve insurers taking over the management of a company’s final salary pension scheme and are becoming more common as businesses look to reduce their risks and insurers look for new sources of income.

Phoenix specialises in running life assurance funds closed to new customers and said in June it was entering the bulk annuity market.

The company said on Thursday, while reporting a doubling in first-half operating profit, it would also continue to look for deals in Britain’s 300 billion pound-plus “closed life” market.

“The (bulk annuities) market has grown steadily in recent years and there is projected demand of 350 billion pounds over the next ten years, as pension trustees look to de-risk current pensioner and deferred liabilities,” Phoenix said.

“Recognising that Phoenix possesses both the skills and financial resources, the group intends to compete selectively on accretive transactions to generate incremental value.” ($1 = 0.7825 pounds) (Reporting by Esha Vaish and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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