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AKG Update Issue 15
24 December 2015
 
Merry Christmas from AKG

As we draw breath and say farewell to 2015 it would be fair to reflect on what has been a fast moving year.

The political backdrop included a general election with a less than predicted result and then a new Labour leader that few had imagined.

Against that there was significant legislative change affecting a wide range of financial services companies, in the form of the new Pension Freedoms. Taken together with other developments, such as ongoing Auto Enrolment rollout and increasing explorations into Digital, then a period of change and adjustment for financial services companies is certainly upon us.

There are many unknowns in trying to gauge how the market will play out, not least amongst these being evolving customer behaviour - changes in which are almost impossible to fully predict at present. But that there will be more change and significant change is certain. An ability for companies across AKG’s rating sectors to grasp customer needs and demonstrate agility in terms of responding to challenges and opportunities will prove to be a differentiator.

At a more detailed level the new year sees (finally) the move to Solvency II for insurers. This is in itself a big step and one which will have its own bearing in how, and with what, consumer needs are met.

So as we look into 2016 and a further time of change, on behalf of everyone at AKG, I would wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Guy Vanner

AKG's Managing Director
AKG launches 2015 With Profits Reports

AKG is delighted to announce the publication of its 2015 UK Life Office With Profits Reports, the 20th annual edition of this independent and respected with profits output. These reports are designed to assist advisers and other analysts to assess the relative merits of specific with profits funds. The aim is to provide comprehensive, structured and consistent information, accompanied by AKG's key analytical assessments of with profits financial strength, future performance and transparency.

The reports provide an invaluable resource for intermediaries who are advising clients in the selection of with profits providers for new policies. Advice for in-force clients should be just as robust as it is for new business. Indeed evaluating existing with profits funds is an important part of an adviser's job and AKG's reports provide a wealth of relevant information and assessments.

Each individual report provides information on the structure and operation of a provider's with profits fund(s). It also highlights the various risks borne by with profits policyholders and concludes with AKG's long established Ratings for With Profits Financial Strength, With Profits Future Performance and With Profits Transparency.

The reports contain analysis and assessments of 185 sub-funds within 72 funds within 30 firms that will be active in the UK market at the end of December 2015 (from 26 different groups). A number of comparative industry-wide tables are also included, covering a range of key metrics.

The 2015 UK Life Office With Profits Reports can be purchased for £1,950 plus VAT. Please click here to purchase and download your copy online.

If you have any queries about the reports please contact us.

Matt Ward

AKG's Head of Communications
Rating Activity

Life Companies, Friendly Societies & Similar Providers

Assicurazioni Generali SpA
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 8 Dec 2015

Aviva Annuity UK Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
A [Confirmed] Issued 8 Dec 2015

Aviva Life & Pensions UK Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
A [Confirmed] Issued 8 Dec 2015

Aviva Pension Trustees UK Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [New rating] Issued 8 Dec 2015

Bupa Insurance Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 16 Dec 2015

Clerical Medical Investment Group Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Clerical Medical Managed Funds Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Dentons Pension Management Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

EBS Management plc
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

Exeter Friendly Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

Family Assurance Friendly Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 4 Dec 2015

Friends Annuities Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
Rating withdrawn 10 Dec 2015 [Previously B+]

Friends Life and Pensions Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 10 Dec 2015

Friends Life Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 10 Dec 2015

Guardian Assurance Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 30 Nov 2015

Legal and General Assurance Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
A [Confirmed] Issued 16 Dec 2015

Managed Pension Funds Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

National Deposit Friendly Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
C [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

Pension Insurance Corporation plc
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 16 Dec 2015

Pensions Management (S.W.F.) Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Personal Assurance plc
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 1 Dec 2015

ReAssure Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 25 Nov 2015

Reliance Mutual Insurance Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Previously B] Issued 16 Dec 2015

Royal London Pooled Pensions Company Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
Rating withdrawn 18 Nov 2015 [Previously B+]

Scottish Equitable plc
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 15 Dec 2015

Scottish Widows Annuities Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Scottish Widows plc
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Scottish Widows Unit Funds Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 20 Nov 2015

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.K.) Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 30 Nov 2015

The Hornbuckle Mitchell Group Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B- [Confirmed] Issued 10 Dec 2015

The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 18 Nov 2015

Threadneedle Pensions Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 15 Dec 2015

UBS Asset Management Life Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 26 Nov 2015

Unum Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B [Confirmed] Issued 15 Dec 2015
 

Offshore Life Companies

AXA Isle of Man Limited
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 4 Dec 2015

AXA Life Europe Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 9 Dec 2015

Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [New rating] Issued 23 Dec 2015

Canada Life International Assurance Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 23 Dec 2015

Canada Life International Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 23 Dec 2015

CLI Institutional Ltd
Overall Financial Strength
B+ [Confirmed] Issued 23 Dec 2015

London & Colonial Assurance plc
Overall Financial Strength
C [Confirmed] Issued 30 Nov 2015

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

With Profits Reports

UK Life Office With Profits Reports
Full Set of Reports – Issued 14 Dec 2015
 

Company Profile & Financial Strength Reports

Aegon
Full Report – Issued 15 Dec 2015

Aviva
Full Report – Issued 8 Dec 2015

Bright Grey/Scottish Provident
Full Report – Issued 18 Nov 2015

Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Short Report – Issued 15 Dec 2015

Friends Life
Full Report – Issued 10 Dec 2015

Guardian Financial Services
Short Report – Issued 30 Nov 2015

Hornbuckle
Short Report – Issued 10 Dec 2015

Legal & General
Short Report – Issued 16 Dec 2015

National Friendly
Short Report – Issued 25 Nov 2015

OneFamily
Short Report – Issued 4 Dec 2015

Pension Insurance Corporation
Short Report – Issued 16 Dec 2015

ReAssure
Short Report – Issued 25 Nov 2015

Reliance Mutual
Short Report – Issued 16 Dec 2015

Royal London
Full Report – Issued 18 Nov 2015

Scottish Widows
Full Report – Issued 20 Nov 2015

State Street Global Advisors
Short Report – Issued 25 Nov 2015

Sun Life Financial of Canada
Short Report – Issued 30 Nov 2015

The Exeter
Short Report – Issued 25 Nov 2015

UBS Asset Management
Short Report – Issued 26 Nov 2015

Unum
Short Report – Issued 15 Dec 2015
 

Offshore Profile & Financial Strength Reports

AXA Isle of Man
Full Report – Issued 4 Dec 2015

AXA Life Invest
Full Report – Issued 9 Dec 2015

Canada Life International
Full Report – Issued 18 Dec 2015
Report Withdrawals
No reports have been withdrawn since our last Update.
Useful Links
The AKG website provides access to a range of information about our processes and services.
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.
 
B&CE report issued
AKG has carried out an assessment of financial strength and corporate profile for the B&CE Group of Companies (trading as B&CE and including The People’s Pension). The output from this assessment was issued on 23rd October 2015 and replaces in its entirety AKG’s previous report dated February 2014.

The latest report can be downloaded at www.akg.co.uk.
Contacting AKG
Call us on +44 (0)1306 876439 for more information on any aspect of AKG ratings, reports and services.

Click here to email us and please visit our website www.akg.co.uk