Figures from Norwich Union International show a bumper year for the life company, with a 29% rise (E448.5m) in sales for 2005.
He said: “We plan to build on this growth with the introduction of further products, which includes the recent launch of Premier Portfolio, a bond that offers access to thousands of funds from various investment managers.
“We have also designed a new inheritance tax planning solution – the Estate Protection Plan – that combines Premier Portfolio with a new trust, the Estate Protection Trust. Another recent innovation is the new inflation-protected guarantee from with-profit investments made in the With-Profit Bond and International Core Funds Bond.
“All these have been designed to add to our track record, where we have seen consistent year-on-year growth over the last three years, with an average compounded growth rate of 38% per annum.”
The Norwich Union offshore with-profit fund announced bonus rates for 2006 of 5% for its sterling and 4.75% for its euro/dollar version (see page 9, for more on with-profits).
John Lister, chief actuary at Norwich Union, said: “The UK economy has seen growth over the last year largely as a result of strong merger and acquisition activity and buoyant corporate earnings.
"Rising oil prices also gave a boost to the FFTSE All-Share index. The US economy which acts as a barometer to the world economy, has also demonstrated growth over the last year, supported by the continuing strength of US consumer demand and the vibrant US housing market.
“Given the strong performance of equity markets in 2005 we have lower return expectations for the next 12-18 months. We anticipate returns of 5% to 10% for equities and property in 2006.”
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