Royal London boosted by pension sales as Ascentric slows

Loney-Phil-Royal London-2013

Royal London has posted a 56 per cent increase in new business to £2.1bn in the first quarter of 2016 as gross sales through platform Ascentric dropped 9 per cent.

Overall funds under management rose 4 per cent from £84.5bn at 31 December 2015 to £87.9bn at 31 March 2016.

Group pensions sales increased by 86 per cent from Q1 2015 to £959m while individual pensions sales saw growth of 29 per cent to £611m.

New drawdown business was up 19 per cent on the same time last year to £291m and the company’s new consumer division saw sales increase to £67m from £24m in the same period last year.

Despite the positive results, Royal London group chief executive Phil Loney expects group pensions will see a “slowing of momentum” in coming quarters.

He says: “While we continue to bring on board large numbers of schemes, we anticipate that the average premium will be lower as more smaller employers enrol their workforces into a pension.”

Loney was pleased with the 37 per cent increase in business through Royal London’s protection intermediary channel to £147m.

He says: “While our pension propositions have been leading the way for some time it is good to see that our protection proposition in the intermediary market is now finding strong levels of support from advisers.”

Sales through the Ascentric platform dropped 9 per cent from £556m in Q1 2015 to £504m this year.

However, Loney says Ascentric continues to maintain market share and the platform’s assets under administration increased 3 per cent to £10.4bn from last year’s £10.1bn.

Royal London Asset Management saw new business inflows increase 66 per cent to £1.1bn from £662m in Q1 2015 which was attributed to an increase in institutional new business.