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Zurich platform sees new business dwindle

Zurich platform sees new business dwindle

Zurich's intermediary platform has reported net flows of £520m for the three months to June 30 — down 33 per cent on the same period last year.

In the firm’s results, published yesterday (August 8), Zurich also reported its inflows had seen a year-on-year drop of 19 per cent, reporting a total of £969m for the second quarter of 2019.

Despite this, Zurich's assets under administration increased to £11bn — 15 per cent higher than the £9.5bn measured for the second quarter of 2018.

Reports circulated recently that Zurich was contemplating the sale of its adviser platform with Aegon being the rumoured buyer.

But Zurich did not confirm this. It said it regularly worked with third parties to review the make up of its business and did “not comment on speculation”.

The insurance giant's multi-asset Horizon Funds platform meanwhile also reported increased assets under administration of £551m at the end June, up by more than a quarter when compared with last year’s results.

Zurich launched Horizon to package third party funds for its clients exclusively on its own platform in 2014, but has recently announced Aegon clients will have access to the funds.

It reported its funds had seen assets grow by 26 per cent from £438m last year.

Alistair Wilson, Zurich’s head of retail platform strategy, said: “Given the challenging economic environment these are robust results, which demonstrate the strength of our platform.

“Although platforms inflows are lower as a result of external headwinds, this is in line with the industry as a whole.

"Despite uncertainty from Brexit, which has damaged investor confidence and led to inertia across the market, we have delivered a solid performance.”

Zurich’s insurance arm reported an increase in earnings of 74 per cent for the first six months of the year, up to £248m from £142m last year.

New life insurance was up 38 per cent compared to the same half year period in 2018, and Zurich stated its retail protection proposition had been a "huge success", with term protection sales up 146 per cent among independent financial advisers.

Zurich’s UK chief executive Tulsi Naidu said: “This is a very strong performance with year-on-year profits up 74 per cent. 

“These results are built on the actions we have taken over the last few years to strengthen our underwriting discipline, enhance our customer propositions and reduce costs. 

“As a result, we have a simpler, more digital and disciplined business. We are pleased to have made such a strong contribution to Zurich group’s best half-year results in a decade.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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