Annuity giants to cut jobs amid £670m merger

Michael Bow
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Rodney Cook takes over the whole group
ANNUITY giants Just Retirement and Partnership will cut jobs as part of their £670m merger, in a bid to reduce annual costs by £40m, bosses said yesterday,

Just Retirement is set to buy its smaller rival in a deal which leaves its shareholders with a 60 per cent stake in the combined group, to be known as JRP Group. Partnership owners have the rest.

The pair said they are hoping to raise £150m in equity capital, and expect the annual pre-tax cost savings to emerge by 2018.

“To have that level of cost savings there will be some reduction in head count but (the savings) will be a mixture of staff and non-staff costs,” Just Retirement’s finance boss David Richardson said.

“We’re going to start an integration team to work on the steps to bring the organisation together but we don’t have a specific headcount reduction at the moment.”

Sweeping changes unveiled by George Osborne in the 2014 Budget mean pensioners no longer have to buy annuities, causing sales to plummet. Sales of annuities fell 42 per cent, between 2013 and 2014, the pair said in a statement.

Just Retirement boss Rodney Cook will remain the head of the combined group. Partnership chief executive Steve Groves will leave the business but its chairman Chris Gibson-Smith is made chair of the combined group. Just Retirement’s chair, Tom Cross Brown, stays on as deputy chairman.