Partnership and Just Retirement merger gathers pace

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Partnership has announced that its merger with Just Retirement is due to complete in late December.

Partnership chief executive Steve Groves will step down the day after the merger takes effect.

The merger was announced in August and received approval from the competition watchdog in October despite concerns the deal would harm annuity competition. Both providers had their share prices hammered in the wake of Chancellor George Osborne’s radical annuities overhaul.

In its Q3 results today, Partnership announced total sales of £109m, up 22 per cent from £89m in Q3 2014.

The provider’s individual annuity sales totalled £68m in July to September, almost unchanged from £69m during the same period in 2014.

Its medically underwritten defined benefit sales were £24m in the quarter. This compares to no sales in Q3 2014, but is down from £44m in Q2 2015.

Partnership says its individual annuity sales were 26 per cent higher than Q1, the last quarter before the pension freedoms were introduced.

It says that as a result, it expects sales to be around 10 per cent higher in the second half of this year compared to the first or second half of 2014.

The provider also expects to meet its target of £200m DB sales for 2015.

Groves says: “Partnership continued to deliver tangible progress during this quarter. Consumer and adviser research continues to show the importance of a guaranteed income for life.

“The Partnership business is well positioned in its chosen markets, and as part of the enlarged JRP group, will be able to accelerate the existing strategy of leveraging our unique intellectual property to write profitable new business in the UK retail, DB and US care markets.”