Chesnara impresses by delivering on mundane strategy

Oliver Gill
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Chesnara completed its purchase of Legal & General's Dutch life business earlier this year (Source: Getty)

Retirement book insurer Chesnara impressed the market today by delivering on its promise to be “reassuringly dull”.

The firm generated half-year profits of £51.6m, swelled by its purchase of Legal & General’s Dutch life business.

“We’re not well known in the wider world. We’re not worried about that, quite frankly. For us, it's about the results speaking for themselves,” chief executive John Deane told City A.M..

We use two expressions in the company and they serve us well. The first one is ‘reassuringly dull’. And second is that for our shareholders we look to be their least troublesome share.

Panmure Gordon head of research Barrie Cornes agreed, saying Chesnara is "doing exactly what it says on the tin – very well".

Read more: L&G's off: Dutch sale wipes away EU insurance footprint

While Chesnara does write some new insurance policies abroad it makes the majority of its money by buying up portfolios of pension pots other firms are keen to get off their books.

The boss of rival Phoenix has estimated there are £300bn of global pension deals to be done and has been active in the market.

But the Chesnara's cautious approach extended to future M&A activity. Deane said he would not sign off a deal that did not meet the firm's strict criteria.

“We’re not looking to weaken or change those,” Deane said.

Read more: Cash-rich Phoenix profits from insurers' desire for transformation

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