IFG enhances specialist pensions role

Financial services group IFG has significantly enhanced its presence in the specialist pensions sector in Britain, with its subsidiary becoming the fifth largest provider of such products.

IFG enhances specialist pensions role

In a trading update, IFG yesterday noted the James Hay Partnership — the specialist pensions provider it acquired from Santander Private Banking three years ago — increased its sales of self-invested personal pensions by nearly 120%, on a year-on-year basis, during the first 10 months of the year, with 4,220 new self-invested personal pensions being written, compared with 1,938 over the same timeframe last year.

The company had a total of 39,070 such pensions under administration as of the end of October.

“Sales of new self-invested personal pensions are a key performance measure,” IFG said in its statement, adding: “When we acquired James Hay, in March 2010, a yearly target of 4,000 self-invested personal pensions by year five was set. This milestone has been achieved with 4,220 new self-invested personal pensions written by the end of October 2013. Simultaneously, despite the low interest rate environment and competitive marketplace, average revenue per self-invested personal pensions remains stable.”

On a group-wide basis, IFG said that it is “performing well”, with the trends of the first half (when the company saw revenues increase by 5% and adjusted operating profits rise by 1.5%) continuing. Performance indicators — such as new self-invested personal pensions sales and private client wins — have maintained momentum.

IFG’s other main Britain-based subsidiary — financial advisory Saunderson House — has seen revenue and operating profit rise in the year-to-date, on an annualised basis.

In Ireland, where IFG still provides pension administration and financial advisory services, “a steady performance despite the difficult trading conditions” was seen; while the IFG Corporate Pensions division grew the value of its funds under management to €930m, with 31 new client wins to date this year.

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