Britannic With Profits
RWP Research Findings, Overview and Comments
In considering any company and its with-profits RWP will look to assess a range of factors which will include: the company’s management record; its transparency of information, its financial strength; its prospects for providing future returns and the nature of its with-profits approach.
In this regard we believe that Phoenix run some of the poorest with profits funds in the UK today. This includes the Britannic fund; which has consistently maintained low returns.
In many respects although their funds are called with-profits, they are run in a similar way to a traditional managed fund. They have lost contact with the basic ethos which originally stood behind the with-profits concept and made it a popular and successful investment. Policyholders are now in funds which more often than not will have poor performance and very limited future prospects.
Overall our view of Phoenix is that their performance is poor as is their future return prospects.
We believe we can categorise the Britannic fund as ‘very poor’ – overall its record and position is dire. Annual bonus rates from this fund in the past few years have generally been very low. The overall distributed profits to policyholders represents a return in the recent past of just a few percentage points per year.
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Company ownership position
Britannic with-profits are now housed as a closed fund under Phoenix Life. It no longer exists as a stand-alone company.
Phoenix Life and Phoenix Life Assurance Limited are part of Phoenix Group Holdings, a FTSE 250 Company. They operate 13 with-profits funds (10 under the Phoenix Life banner, 3 under the Phoenix Assurance Limited banner) which are all closed to new business. They also operate two non-profit funds. Phoenix is the UK’s largest specialist consolidator of closed life funds. Their funds were all closed to new business by their previous owners, in many cases after experiencing difficulties.
Phoenix Life Limited Britannic With-Profits Fund
Phoenix Life Limited Britannic With-Profits Fund has an estimated total value of around £5.3 billion.
The Britannic With-Profits Fund comprises business that was transferred to Phoenix Life Ltd under the 2006 Scheme from the Ordinary Branch With-Profits Fund of Britannic Assurance (BA) and the with-profits policies in the With Profits fund of Century Life.
For our specific report on Phoenix Life which will give you all the information you need to judge their funds please click here
Please remember that any of our summary findings or conclusions are general; an appraisal of the general position for that company. There will be situations where an individual policyholder with a company that is ‘good’’ may want to look at surrendering or transferring their policy (for example to secure a guarantee or because it does not suit their risk position), likewise there will be situations where policyholders with a ‘poor’ company want to stick with what they have (for example because the penalty of exiting will be too great). Nothing can replace getting a report based on your unique circumstances; it is only this unique, personalised report which will provide the information that will instruct you on your circumstances regardless of the company and our general comments.