Personal Pension  

JRP merger continues ‘in line with expectations’

JRP merger continues ‘in line with expectations’

Today (23 August) Just Retirement Partnership Group announced the merger of the two firms is continuing to progress in line with expectations.

In a trading update, the group stated it will update the market on its progress towards achieving the targeted cost savings of at least £40m in due course.

On 11 August last year, it was revealed firms Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance Group were set to merge and be rebranded as JRP Group, a move which was designed to capitalise on market changes since the at-retirement reforms came into player in April 2015.

Both retirement income providers saw their share prices tumble two years ago after then chancellor George Osborne announced nobody would have to purchase an annuity and granted greater access to pension cash.

Just Retirement shareholders will own about 60 per cent of the combined group and Partnership shareholders will own about 40 per cent.

In October last year, the Competition and Markets Authority unconditionally cleared the recommended all-share merger of Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance to create JRP Group.

In November last year, FTAdviser reported up to 240 jobs may be cut following the Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance merger.

In a statement released by the firms on the merger at that time, the providers said the headcount reduction is expected to be approximately 5 per cent in the initial six months following the merger completion.

JRP Group stated since the update on 11 May, when the group announced its total new business sales in the nine months to the end of March were 33 per cent higher than the same period the year before, trading to 31 July continued in-line with expectations in each of defined benefit de-risking, individual guaranteed income for life solutions and lifetime mortgages.

Additionally, the group stated it expects to report an embedded value at 30 June 2016 above 200p per share in its upcoming results.

JRP Group’s Solvency Capital ratio at 30 June 2016 was around 30 per cent, the group expects to confirm in its results too.

Rodney Cook, group chief executive, said: “In these volatile times we wanted to reassure the market ahead of our results.

“Our merger is progressing well and we remain focused on making money for our shareholders by offering good value to our customers.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com