Royal London assets up 22% to record £139bn

Royal London said its assets under management rose 22% to a new high of £139 billion as net inflows rose 29% to £9.89 billion in the 12 months to December 31, 2019.

However, life and pensions sales fell about 5% to £10.699 billion “reflecting an industry-wide decline in the level of defined benefit to defined contribution pension transfers.”

Royal London’s 2019 operating profit rose 5% to £416 million.

Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company which employs more than 1,000 in Scotland and includes the former Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses. 

The mutual’s 2019 “ProfitShare” of £140 million post-tax was 7% lower than 2018 “reflecting the continued outlook for low interest rates.”

Royal London CEO Barry O’Dwyer said: “Royal London had a successful 2019 despite last year’s political and economic uncertainty.

“Our investment performance has been outstanding with 98% of active funds outperforming their three-year benchmark.

“Together with our reputation for excellent customer service, this has helped to attract more new business and we have seen another year of extremely strong net inflows.

“Life and pension sales are lower than the record highs seen in recent years but our operating profit remains robust.

“Our mutual status means we share these profits with our customers and, since the introduction of ProfitShare in 2007, we have added more than £1bn to the value of eligible customers’ savings.

“Coronavirus represents a new risk for the world economy and therefore for our business.

“Our current priority is the health and wellbeing of our colleagues so that we can continue to deliver for customers and clients.

“Our robust capital position means we do not expect the virus to have any material long-term impact on our business.”

Royal London chairman Kevin Parry said: “In these challenging times for public health, insurance has never been more important.

“We continue to meet society’s needs for high quality life insurance, investment and pension products.

“As a mutual, we are member-owned.

“Our ProfitShare is 7% lower than last year due to the economic outlook indicating that the low interest rate environment will continue for some time yet.

“Our strong financial performance has helped to limit the economic impact on this year’s award, allowing us to add an aggregate £140m to eligible customers’ savings.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.