SJP and Standard Life are pension freedom winners

The ratings agency concluded that the sector’s outlook remains negative, given prevailing profitability headwinds, rising competition, as well as operational and reputational risks.

Moody’s previously predicted that asset managers are likely to be the main beneficiaries of the radical pension reforms, with European insurance analyst Laura Perez-Martinez arguing that the retirement income market transformation will lead to a continued differentiation between insurers and asset managers.

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“The UK life insurance industry has experienced substantial outflows consistently since 2008, which is in stark contrast to the inflows captured by asset managers,” she stated.

Last month, senior directors at Ernst and Young told FTAdviser that insurers are increasingly buying into adviser territory, while the larger advisers are buying their way into areas usually reserved to insurers, potentially making for troubled relationships ahead.