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AKG Update Issue 3
18 February 2015
An interesting M&A start to 2015
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.
Guy Vanner

AKG's Managing Director
AKG contributes to the Financial Services Forum
Our Head of Communications, Matt Ward, recently chaired the ‘How to Connect with Pension Customers’ seminar on behalf of The FS Forum. The seminar took place in London and the panel included John Lawson, Head of Policy (Retirement Solutions) at Aviva and Michelle Cracknell, Chief Executive of The Pensions Advisory Service. The panel discussed the requirement for increased marketing efforts from providers and other key stakeholders in order to acquire and retain ‘at-retirement’ customers post-April 2015 and also debated what good might look like in terms of future pension communication.
 
Rating Activity

Life Companies, Friendly Societies & Similar Providers

British Friendly Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
C [Confirmed] Issued 13 Feb 2015

St. James's Place UK plc
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 29 Jan 2015

Offshore Life Companies

LCL International Life Assurance Company Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
C [Previously B-] Issued 29 Jan 2015

Platform Operators

Old Mutual Wealth Ltd
Platform Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 17 Feb 2015

Note: This section refers solely to our Overall Financial Strength Ratings/Platform Financial Strength Ratings.
Report Releases

Company Profile & Financial Strength Reports

British Friendly
Short Report – Issued 13 Feb 2015

St. James's Place
Short Report – Issued 29 Jan 2015

Offshore Profile & Financial Strength Reports

LCL
Short Report – Issued 29 Jan 2015

Platform Profile & Financial Strength Reports

Old Mutual Wealth
Short Report – Issued 17 Feb 2015
Report Withdrawals
No reports have been withdrawn since our last Update.
Useful Links
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In each of our AKG Updates we will seek to help you learn more about us.

Click here if you would like to learn more about AKG Ratings and to gain access to our Ratings Guides.
 
AKG 2014 UK Life Office With Profits Reports
Published in December 2014 the reports include a myriad of data and information relating to UK Life Office With Profits Funds including Free Assets, Free Asset Ratios, With Profits Realistic Balance Sheets, With Profits liabilities, With Profits New Business, Distribution to Policyholders, Past Performance for Maturity/Normal Retirement and Past Performance for Surrenders/Transfers.

Additionally, AKG’s 2014 With Profits Ratings – With Profits Financial Strength Ratings, With Profits Future Performance Ratings and With Profits Transparency Ratings – are unveiled within the publication.

Purchase the With Profits Reports at www.akg.co.uk.
Contacting AKG
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