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Lovells has been drafted in by Pearl Group to advise on the £4.5bn restructuring of subsidiary Phoenix & London Assurance Limited’s (Palal) with-profits fund.
The aim of the restructuring is to increase the potential pension pot of Palal policyholders.
Lovells London-based partner Alex Wood led a team advising the company on a deal that will see the 49,000 Palal policyholders release funds set aside to honour a guaranteed pension rate, with the money being invested according to a new strategy.
“What this restructuring has done is free up funds for investment that were previously unavailable,” he said. “Of course, there’s a risk: annuities could go down even further. But really it’s a win-win situation because even with a low annuity rate the funds are increased dramatically.”
To get the go-ahead the planned restructuring had to gain approval from at least 75 per cent of policyholders. At a scheme meeting held in November last year, the plan gained 96.5 per cent support from policyholders for the deal.