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Just Retirement eyes online D2C sales push

Just Retirement is planning to sell enhanced annuities directly to consumers via alternative sales channels such as price comparison websites, platforms and banks and building societies.

The Financial Times reports shares in Just Retirement, in which private equity firm Permira has a 62 per cent stake, last week rose past their 225p flotation price for the first time since the company listed on the London Stock Exchange in November.  Shares in Just Retirement are currently trading at 241.75p.

Analysts have told the newspaper the rally has been driven by a roadshow given by Just Retirement’s management and led by chief executive Rodney Cook.

Cook admitted there had been a slowdown in IFA sales, but felt this was temporary.

He said while advisers would remain an important source of sales, there were plans to increase Just Retirement’s presence on price comparison sites,  which currently represent less than 1 per cent of its premium income.

Cook also outlined plans to sell more products through distributors such as Hargreaves Lansdown, Age Concern and Saga. The firm is also targeting sales through employee benefit consultants and banks and building societies.

The FT says analysts are preparing to publish upbeat reports on Just Retirement in the coming weeks.

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  1. When it comes to D2C for financial product providers my natural cynicism goes into overdrive.
    To me it is just a bald statement- “We can’t really compete when ‘best advice’ is on the agenda, so will go direct to the public – who are much more gullible and we will be able to flog our less than optimal products to unsuspecting punters, while at the same time we hope to make better margins”
    Additional evidence in this case comes from three factors:
    1. Cook admitted there had been a slowdown in IFA sales, but felt this was temporary. (WHY does he think there has been a slowdown? Why does he believe it is temporary?)
    2. Shares have only just risen above their flotation price
    3. 62% of the company is owned by a Private Equity firm and we all know that they like to make a quick killing and move on. (see 2 – above)
    All in all a bit odd as Just Retirement does sometimes have decent products – even though they do like to trade like a Persian Market offering the poorest rates they think they can get away with and then hiking them when they realise they are failing to get the business. A business model probably more suited to a Bazar.

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