PensionsAug 5 2020

Phoenix Group shakes up savings business

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Phoenix Group shakes up savings business

Phoenix Group has restructured its business model and created five new divisions in order to drive growth in its pensions business.

The five divisions form part of its Open business arm, which manufactures and underwrites long-term savings and retirement products, and will run alongside its heritage arm and newly acquired ReAssure business.

Phoenix has appointed Aviva’s Tom Ground as managing director of its retirement services business unit.

Mr Ground, who will join Phoenix in January, is currently managing director of annuities and equity release at Aviva and brings 20 years of life and pensions experience, having previously held senior roles at L&G and Accenture.

Meanwhile, Gail Izat and Jenny Holt – existing members of the Phoenix senior management team – will become managing directors of the workplace and customer savings & investments units respectively.

Nigel Dunne and Dean Lamble will retain their roles as leaders of the European business and SunLife.

Andy Briggs, chief executive officer of Phoenix Group, said: “At the centre of everything we do at Phoenix are our customers. The creation of business units for the Open business reflects this focus and will ensure that the needs of each customer group are catered to specifically. 

“We already have exceptional expertise within the organisation to draw upon, and the change will drive accountability down the organisation, with empowerment of leadership and people to drive performance.

“The addition of Tom Ground as Managing Director of Retirement Services sets off the complement, and his excellent track record and depth of experience will further bolster the team.”

The new business units are:

  • Retirement Services: brings together bulk annuities with annuities and equity release;
  • Workplace: provides companies with workplace benefits;
  • Customer Savings & Investments: targets individual customers and is focused on engaging existing customers on their retirement needs as they approach and journey through retirement;
  • Europe, including Standard Life International and Ark Life: looks after activity outside of the UK;
  • SunLife: provides guaranteed insurance products for the over 50’s.

Phoenix’s business is split into two segments, heritage and open. 

The heritage segment comprises products that are no longer actively marketed to clients and has been built through the consolidation of more than 100 legacy insurance brands.

Meanwhile, the open business manufactures and underwrites new products and policies, which are actively marketed to new and existing customers primarily under the Standard Life brand. 

Phoenix Group bought Standard Life Aberdeen’s insurance arm in August 2018 for £3.28bn.

Standard Life Assurance was put up for sale following the merger of 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 Phoenix Group.