ion Insurance Corporation yesterday said profits rose during the first half of the year despite a fall in the amount of new business.
The company, chaired by Sir Mark Weinberg and led by ex-Goldman Sachs exec Tracy Blackwell, buys the stocks and bonds of final salary pension schemes and takes over responsibility of pensioner payments, aiming to make long-term profits on the difference.
The company increased pre-tax operating profits 12 per cent for the six months ending June to £118m, thanks to a rise in insurance book investment returns.
However, the amount of new business premiums fell to £700m from £1.9bn in the prior year, a period when PIC clinched a £1.6bn jumbo buy-in of the Total pension scheme.
The firm, along with others in the insurance sector, is currently awaiting the outcome of an assessment by the Prudential Regulation Authority to determine fresh regulatory capital buffers imposed by Europe. Solvency II, as it is known, is intended to harmonise capital rules across Europe’s insurance sector, but the results of the assessment are not expected to be known until December.
The company said transitioning its asset portfolio to be in line with the requirement would lead to short- term fluctuations on returns for the rest of the year.