Fund consolidator Phoenix Group says there are opportunities to take over millions more closed life policies, as its operating profits rose to £176m for the first half of the year.
In its first interim results since acquiring Pearl assets in September 2000, Phoenix says profits are up £146m on the same period last year, while cashflows to its holding companies reached £335m.
Assets under management of £69bn were up 3% since 31 December 2009, with £800m of net new third party business
It also reported Ignis Asset Management IFRS operating profits were £22m, up 38% on the pro forma comparative period.
Having successfully completed its premium listing on the LSE in July, Phoenix said it expects to enter the FTSE 250 Index in September. It also announced a proposed interim dividend of 21p.
Phoenix says there are still a number of opportunities for further consolidation in the closed life sector. It currently manages £69bn of assets on behalf of six and a half million policyholders.
Chairman Ron Sandler says: "To be the leading specialist in the closed-life fund market is also a position of great opportunity. There is a large and growing legacy life sector in the UK that is now effectively closed to new business, with significant amounts of regulatory capital being deployed to support products that are no longer actively marketed to new customers.
"The closed life sector needs to be safely decommissioned. It is not in the interests of policyholders for all these legacy funds to be run-off in a series of isolated silos."
"Nor is this an attractive outlook for the operators of these funds, given the impact of impending new regulation, including Solvency II, and the lack of consumer demand for traditional with-profits and unit-linked products. This will undoubtedly provide opportunities for the Group."
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