In commentary and presentations last year we speculated on what 2015 might bring for the landscape of financial services providers.
It was almost impossible to come up with specific predictions of who would do what. However, what we did know is that there was no longer the time or wriggle room to put off decisions. Companies faced a changed and further changing environment, in which future success required the answering of big questions and, where needed, requisite changes being made.
So whilst the specific announcements of merger and acquisition activity, amongst other actions, to date in Q1 might not have been predictable, their part in a pattern of companies looking to seize the strategic initiative had been wholly predictable.
By way of illustration:
- Standard Life’s proposed acquisition of Pearson Jones, the intermediary distribution business
- Canada Life’s proposed acquisition of Legal & General International, as the latter exits the offshore bond market
- Scottish Friendly’s acquisition of the closed Marine & General Mutual business.
These three examples are across a wide spectrum of tactical rationale and for that alone represent an interesting illustration of the big decisions being implemented in 2015. More should be anticipated.