Just Group eyes annuity growth after hailing cost-cutting merger success

Oliver Gill
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Just Group specialises by providing annuities to people with reduced life expectancies (Source: Getty)

The boss of Just Group today admitted there was a limit on how much cost can be cut out of the firm.

The FTSE 250 annuity specialist, a product of a merger between Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance last year, hailed a half-year of "disciplined growth" that included reducing expenses by £41m post-merger.

"Keeping expenses under control will be an on-going way we do business," chief executive Rodney Cook told City A.M..

[But] you don't cost cut your way to greatness.

Read more: Just Group profit jumps as last year's merger works its way through

Despite concerns of shrinking demand for annuities in the UK, Cook said the annuity market has grown by five per cent in money terms.

Just uses an in-house pricing model to specialise in providing annuities to people with reduced life expectancies. Instead of writing new business it relies on picking up new customers from other providers.

The firm said it expects regulation changes coming into force next year to play into its hands. From March pension providers will need to tell customers approaching pensionable age about other products available to them to fund their retirement.

"We don't have any of our own pension customers, we have to wait until they escape onto the open market," said Cook.

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