Norwich Union is warning that increasingly strong competition in the life and pension market will threaten margins in the run up to A-Day.Worldwide profits for the company rose by 21 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the same time last year. Almost two-thirds of group profits now come from overseas markets and NU says UK profits are likely to reduce further as a percentage of its business. Group operating profits were 1.32bn in the first half compared with 1.076bn last year. New business margins have risen from 2.5 per cent for the whole of 2004 to 2.6 per cent this year. UK chief executive Gary Withers says this increase is a direct result of cutting commission on less favourable business such as stakeholder. He warns that the second half of the year is likely to see margins squeezed due to an anticipated price war in the life and pension market. Last month saw a U-turn by NU as it increased stakeholder commission, which Withers says has yet to come through in the results. UK life and pension sales slipped by 1 per cent from 4.299bn to 4.244bn in the first half, on a European embedded-value basis. Withers says the personal pension launched by NU late last year has failed to take off due to ongoing adviser concerns over RU64. NU enjoyed strong growth in investment sales but admits disappointment at a slip in equity-release sales from 197m to 179m over the period. Withers says: “We are happy with the fall in life and pension sales as it reflects our focus on higher margin business but the equity-release market has been slower than expected. Our international business continues to grow rapidly and the UK proportion of our business is getting smaller.”
Intelliflo will be the biggest software provider for the IFA sector within three years, claims chief executive Nick Eatock. The company is among the five biggest software providers for the IFA market, doubling user numbers from 2,000 to 4,000 since the management buyout from former parent Millfield in January, and Eatock says the firm’s use […]
Origen is offering a free fin-ancial advice support ser- vice to victims of the London bombings of July 7 and their dependants. Victims’ personal and family circumstances will be assessed on income, debt, assets and any likely payment from insurance companies or other agencies, resulting in a report and action plan provided by the national […]
Overture Multi Asset Platform Fund Frontier Conservative
No sooner had I suggested that Japan might be worthy of re-examination as a country in which to invest, than prime minister Koizumi called a general election. Typical. The uncertainty created demands a wait and see policy, at least for the time being.
Despite the surprises the market always springs on investors, for the Loomis Sayles US Equity Leaders Fund, macro events are not a factor in its own decision making.
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