Rothesay 'well positioned' despite decline in bulk annuity deals

Rothesay's bulk annuity deal volumes declined last year, with the insurer writing £3bn of new pension bulk annuity business during 2021 compared to £7bn in 2020, although it emphasised that “significant opportunities” are already being seen for Q1 2022.

The group's financial report revealed that it assisted 10 schemes in de-risking their pension liabilities, down from 12 in 2020, with new business including buy-in transactions with Dow Services UK Pension Plan, Reach, Signet Group and William Hill.

Despite the decline in bulk annuity deals, the group delivered a "robust performance" over the past year, recording the second highest profits in Rothesay's history of £913m.

It also confirmed that its solvency remains "very strong", with the group's solvency capital requirement coverage ratio increasing from 201 per cent in 2020 to 226 per cent in 2021, while assets under management grew from £62bn in 2020 to £62.5bn in 2021.

In addition to this, Rothesay argued that a disciplined approach to underwriting meant it was patient in the more subdued market conditions experienced throughout the year, ensuring returns from new business were appropriate.

It also suggested that significant opportunities are already being seen in 2022, with Rothesay currently exclusive on over £1bn of new business.

Rothesay chief executive officer, Addy Loudiadis, commented: “Rothesay’s substantial capital and robust performance over the course of 2021 means we are very well positioned for the significant growth opportunities ahead, which we are already encouraged to see materialising.

"We continue to be disciplined in our approach to underwriting, preferring to be patient even in a relatively subdued market to ensure returns from new business are appropriate.

"Rothesay’s industry-leading risk management systems and innovative mindset enabled us to negotiate market conditions well, particularly rising long-term interest rates, and also create new ways to invest cautiously, such as with our launch of long-term, fixed-rate mortgage products.

"We are strongly placed to benefit from the significant new business opportunities we are now seeing and look forward to continuing to innovate in the year ahead, while remaining relentlessly focused on policyholder security and excellence in customer service.”

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