Redundancy to give a 'big growth' area to Standard Life (Irish Independent)
Standard Life notched up a 61pc rise in new Irish business in the final quarter of 2008, but the insurer yesterday admitted "you're not going to see anything like that growth" in 2009. The bumper fourth quarter result was attributed to "innovative self-directive funds" as well as the introduction of a UK government guarantee scheme that protects 90pc of investments in Standard Life. "We're one of the only insurers operating in the Irish market that's a branch of a UK company, so we're one of the only ones who gets that guarantee," said Standard Life Ireland's marketing boss Brendan Barr. "It's been a big plus for us."
He said that while the market for single premium investments remained "very tough", the recession may encourage more investment in pensions. "The 'buyout bonds' that we sell to people who have been made redundant are going to be a big growth area in 2009," he added.
"It's a sad thing to say, but it's a fact." He said that while the rises of the fourth quarter of 2008 wouldn't be repeated, some growth was possible in 2009 since "we're coming from a low base".
"The market might well be down, but we think we'll continue to grow our business." The 2008 full-year results show Standard Life drew in £417m (€451m) of new business, based on the present value of new business premiums -- down 21pc year-on-year.