Standard Life brand sold to Phoenix in strategy deal
Standard Life House now home to Phoenix
Phoenix has confirmed that it is buying the Standard Life brand and reinforcing its strategic partnership with SLA in a deal that commits the two financial giants to a 10-year asset management partnership.
Staff affected will transfer to Phoenix Group and Standard Life Aberdeen will pay £32m to Phoenix in return for the insurer bearing the cost of the switch of employees.
The outcome of Standard Life Aberdeen’s branding review, which was first reported by Daily Business in January and again earlier this month, will be announced later this year.
The deal will enable Phoenix to control its own distribution, marketing and brands, and focus the strategic partnership on using SLA’s asset management services in support of Phoenix’s growth strategy.
Standard Life Aberdeen will acquire the Wrap Self-Invested Personal Pension, Wrap Onshore Bond and UK Trustee Investment Plan businesses from Phoenix Group. There is an upfront payment of £62.5m which will be offset in part by expected payments from Phoenix Group to Standard Life Aberdeen relating to the profits of the business prior to completion of the legal transfer.
The strategic asset management partnership (under which Standard Life Aberdeen currently manages c£147.4bn of Phoenix Group assets) will be extended and will now operate until at least 2031.
Standard Life Aberdeen’s beneficial shareholding in Phoenix Group remains c.14% and it retains the right to appoint a director to the Phoenix Group board. Standard Life Aberdeen continues to view its shareholding in Phoenix Group as strategic.
Commenting on the transaction, Stephen Bird, CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen, said: “The most successful partnerships in business tend to be formed on clear and simple terms. What we are announcing today is an agreement that simplifies the relationships between Standard Life Aberdeen and our strategic partner Phoenix Group in a way that will allow us to work together constructively as partners for at least the next ten years. Both businesses will be able to play to their respective strengths in the partnership.
“The Standard Life brand has an important heritage. In the UK, it has strong recognition as a life insurance and workplace pensions brand. This is closely aligned with Phoenix’s strategy and customer base.
“This is much less the case with the business we are building at Standard Life Aberdeen which is focused on global asset management, our market-leading platforms offerings to UK financial advisers and their customers, and our UK savings and wealth businesses. That’s why I am excited about the work we are doing on our own brand, which we look forward to sharing later this year.”
Andy Briggs, CEO of Phoenix Group, said: “The simplification of the Standard Life brand, sales and marketing will be a key enabler of Phoenix’s growth strategy, which in turn should lead to greater asset flows to ASI.”
Aegon looking to sell Asia business
Aegon is reportedly looking to sell its Transamerica business in Asia as part of its plan to exit non-core markets.
Transamerica Bermuda offers a range of insurance and savings products to high net worth clients in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Asia operation could make around $700m (£500m, €577m).
Bloomberg said that a formal sale process could begin as soon as the coming weeks.
Netherlands-based Aegon, whose UK headquarters is in Edinburgh, acquired US-headquartered Transamerica in 1999.