Pensions  

Phoenix on track to save £1.2bn from Standard Life deal

Phoenix on track to save £1.2bn from Standard Life deal

Phoenix Group is on track to deliver its target of £1.2bn in savings from its acquisition of Standard Life Assurance last year.

The pensions consolidator bought Standard Life Aberdeen’s insurance arm in August 2018 for £3.28bn and in March it decided to increase the target for savings made by £500m to £1.2bn.

In a trading update yesterday (November 29) the group said it was set to deliver this target and that the transition of the business was “progressing to plan”.

Standard Life Assurance was put up for sale following the merger between Standard Life and asset manager Aberdeen in 2017. 

As part of the deal Standard Life Aberdeen acquired a shareholding of just under 20 per cent of the wider group. 

It has also expanded its partnership with technology and service provider TCS to drive the growth of the pensions business.

The partnership will see Standard Life Assurance’s pensions and savings products migrated onto the TCS BFSI digital platform.

According to TCS, this will cover an additional 4.2m policies, taking the total number of policies managed by Diligenta, TCS’ regulated subsidiary in the UK, on behalf of Phoenix Group, to nearly 10m.

Phoenix stated it has exceeded its cash generation target in the nine months to September 2019, generating £707m in cash, up from £664m in 2018, which exceeded its original target of £600m-£700m.

The group has a £3bn surplus to meet its Solvency II cash buffer requirements.

Clive Bannister, chief executive officer of Phoenix, said: “This trading update further reinforces Phoenix's conviction in its business model and its capacity to generate cash, deliver resilience and exploit multiple avenues of growth to deliver long-term sustainable cash generation, not just today but in the years ahead. 

“We continue to place customers at the heart of what we do and are committed to delivering a high level of customer service and to improving customer outcomes.”

Phoenix Group is the largest life and pensions consolidator in Europe with 10m policies and £245bn of assets under administration as at June 30, 2019.

Earlier this month (November 8), the company announced that Mr Bannister will exit the business and will be replaced by former Aviva boss Andy Briggs next year.

amy.austin@ft.com

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