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Guardian acquires in-payment pension annuities from Phoenix Group

Guardian Financial Services, the consolidator of closed assets in the European life insurance sector, is to acquire 300,000 in-payment pension annuities from Phoenix Group.

Phoenix Group will transfer approximately GBP5 billion of assets to Guardian to meet all future payments to the annuity policyholders. The deal will be completed in July. The companies will then work together to transfer the policies to Guardian under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Following the transfer, Guardian will manage approximately GBP13bn of assets on behalf of over 600,000 customers.
Cinven, the European private equity firm, acquired Guardian in November 2011 as an entry point into the UK closed life market and as a strong platform from which to execute a consolidation strategy in the sector.
Jonathan Yates, the Chief Executive of Guardian, says: "We are delighted to conclude this transaction with Phoenix Group. It represents an important next step for Guardian as we pursue our closed life fund consolidation strategy in the European life insurance sector.”
Caspar Berendsen (pictured), Partner at Cinven, says: "We are backing a first-class management team at Guardian. This transaction demonstrates that there are clearly opportunities for further consolidation in the closed life sector and we are extremely well positioned to support the Guardian team given our significant track record in the financial services sector and the capital we have available."
RBC Capital Markets acted as financial adviser to Guardian in this transaction.

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