Unilever, Panasonic schemes turn to insurers amid favourable market conditions

first_imgTwo of the UK’s largest insurers have announced buy-ins and buyout deals, continuing growth in the bulk annuity market that will likely see a record volume of transactions.Legal & General (L&G) completed a £129m buy-in with the Uniac Pension Fund, part of Unilever, as demand from schemes continues amid favourable market conditions.Rothesay Life meanwhile agreed a full buyout with the UK Panasonic Pension Scheme, but the total size of the transaction for the 600-member scheme was not disclosed.Both deals come amid predictions of unprecedented transaction levels, with market activity by the end of June 2014 close to exceeding 2013’s £7bn in transactions. Rothesay said its business pipeline for the remainder of the year was full of buyout deals.Likely factors include the general increase in scheme funding and the adoption of insurance company-matching investment strategies since 2008, when the current record of £8bn in transactions was set.Despite recent rising price volatility in the bulk annuity market, consultancy Aon Hewitt’s latest report said schemes holding UK Gilts would have been able to insure pensioner members at little to no cost.Likewise, Aon Hewitt added, despite annuity prices rising in absolute value terms, schemes with bonds and liability-driven investments (LDI) would have suffered “modest change” in the purchasing power of assets.Predications were made of the 2014 bulk annuity market to reach £10bn, and even with the expected slowdown in Q4, deals seen so far make this likely.Consultancy LCP said with the £6.5bn seen in the first half, an excess of £1bn worth of bulk annuity transactions was likely for the final three months.Alongside pension scheme demand, insurers’ growing appetite for bulk annuity deals continues.L&G recently told IPE the insurer had not seen any pension scheme come to market for which it did not have a desire to quote.Michael Abramson, head of strategic business for bulk annuities at L&G, said the market “was not finished yet”, referring to Q4 transaction levels.He said the insurance market had a growing appetite for longevity risk and asset risks associated with bulk annuity deals, mainly long-term credit.However, while pricing continued in schemes’ favour, the market was at risk of seeing demand exceeding supply, he said.“A sudden spike in demand, could see capacity limited by one of either appetite for longevity or asset risk,” Abramson said.In a recent report, KPMG said it expected the bulk annuity market to reach £20bn a year by 2020.A significant factor behind the growth was insurers’ increasing appetite for longevity exposure after changes in this year’s Budget potentially reduced the size of the individual annuity market.Tom Seechnaran, KMPG’s director of pensions insurance, said: “The supply of insurance providers is increasing as both new entrants and existing insurers seek to write more business following Budget’s reforms.“We envisage that these market conditions will drive year-on-year increases in buyout volumes.”Earlier this year, IPE reported Aviva was looking to expand its bulk annuity operations and fellow insurer LV= enter the market in direct response to the Budget reforms.Read more about the UK bulk annuity market.last_img read more

"Unilever, Panasonic schemes turn to insurers amid favourable market conditions"

Former football international Amar Bahadur dead

first_imgMumbai, Mar 10 (PTI) Ex-India football international and star left-winger Amar Bahadur Gurung, whose all-important goal helped the country to win a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games, passed away at a hospital in Gurgaon this evening after a brief illness.He was 73, said a media release.Bahadur, who was an integral part of the strong Mafatlal SC line-up along with Shyam, Ratan and Ranjit Thapa, was suffering from a bout of jaundice and was admitted to the hospital, where he succumbed to the illness, it said.Born in 1942 in Dehradun, Bahadur made international debut against Cambodia in the Asia Cup qualifiers in Cambodia in 1967 and went on to earn 22 India caps.Considered one of the finest left wingers India has ever produced, Bahadur was a regular member of the national team in the mid-60s and early 70s.The mercurial winger, who mesmerised the crowd with his canny ball control and clinical finishing, scored the all-important match-winning goal in Indias 1-0 win against Japan which secured the country a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok.Its the last medal won in football by the country in the continental multi-event sports extravaganza.He also represented India in three editions of the Merdeka Cup and played in the Pesta Sukan Cup in 1970.He studied at the Gorkha Military School in Dehradun, joined the 4/8 Gorkha Rifles in 1960 and represented the Gorkha Rifles football team before quitting army service in 1967 to move to then Bombay where he plied his trade with the then famous club Mafatlal SC till the 1980s.advertisementInitially, he was part of the triumphant Gorkha Brigade team, which won the Durand Cup in 1966 and two years later won the Rovers Cup with the Mafatlal SC.In the Santosh Trophy national championships, he represented Services and Maharashtra, scoring eight goals (all for Maharashtra).He holds the distinction of being the only player from Dehradun to be awarded Maharashtras highest sporting honour, the Shiv Chhatrapati Shivaji Award, in 1973.After ending his playing career, Bahadur resettled in the Uttarakhands capital city and was actively involved in football promotion. PTI SSR RSY PDS PDS BASlast_img read more

"Former football international Amar Bahadur dead"