Quilter completes £445m sale of assurance business

Tom Ellis reports

The sale of Quilter’s life assurance business to ReAssure has been confirmed.

The final deal will cost ReAssure £445m and Quilter has earmarked £375m as net surplus proceeds that will be returned to the company’s shareholders. It said it would confirm the details of that capital return by its full-year company announcement in March.

Quilter said the sale, which had an “attractive valuation”, would solidify its position as an advice-led and modern wealth manager.

Quilter Life Assurance, a closed book of unit-linked policies, was once the core of Quilter’s UK business. It was made up of pensions, investment and savings and protection products, with both retail and institutional offerings. The deal was first announced back in August 2019.

Quilter said it expects the growth profile of the firm to grow as a result of the sale because the life assurance business was in “run-off”. It said the sale would allow it to increase its focus on the delivery of its growth strategy and “the execution of its optimisation initiatives”.

As for ReAssure, the company itself is currently under acquisition by Phoenix Group in a £3.2bn cash and shares deal. As it stands the agreement would add £84bn in AUA and 4.1 million ReAssure policies under the Phoenix umbrella for its heritage business. The deal will see the new FTSE 100 constituent reach total assets under administration (AUA) of £329bn and confirm it as Europe’s largest pensions consolidator.

The proposal for the acquisition of ReAssure came after Swiss Re pulled June plans for its float on the London Stock Exchange and remained on the lookout to dispose of the business to better streamline its operations to continental Europe.