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Leading Guernsey firm Ozannes has played a crucial role in paving the way for client BNP Paribas to launch the first pension hedge.
Ozannes corporate partner David Moore was brought in by BNP to redraft Guernsey’s insurance laws to enable life contracts to be written by reference to indices rather than by reference to life risk.
The unique £540m bond issued by BNP with a 25-year maturity rate is designed to help UK pension funds hedge their annuity liabilities to enable them to meet their pension promises.
The longevity bond, which is structured through a Guernsey-incorporated company, was designed by BNP with the assistance of global reinsurer PartnerRe.
The bond’s future interest payments will be based on the longevity experience of the English and Welsh male populations aged 65, as published annually by the Office for National Statistics. Consequently, if the UK’s male population lives longer than is currently the case, the bond’s interest payments will stay higher for longer.
Dominic Hickey, a solicitor in BNP’s legal and transaction management team, led on the deal, with assistance from Allen & Overy.
Commenting on the deal, Hickey said: “The whole point of the structure is to ensure the risk ends up in the right place.” BNP is the structurer/ manager and the European Investment Bank will be the issuer. Meanwhile, PartnerRe will provide the analysis, expertise and risk-taking capacity for the longevity risk.