Healy O'Connor

Standard Life Pensions Boost

Standard Life Ireland significantly outperformed the Irish pensions and investments market last year, by generating annual sales growth of 5% against a combined market which fell nearly 30%.

The financial services giant has just under 80,000 shareholders in Ireland and around 94,000 customers here. The first half of 2009 saw the Irish side of the business boost sales by 18% on a year-on-year basis as well as generate new business growth of 4%.

The good showing in the Irish business was attributed to a number of things, including the continuing success of its global absolute return strategies fund (GARS), which has attracted more than €200m from Irish investors and its overall superior fund performance.

The company also said that it operates as a branch of its British parent and benefits from the UK Policyholder Protection Scheme (there is no equivalent scheme here) has proven a major attraction also.

On an overall group basis, Standard Life saw annual sales increase from £3bn (€3.4bn) to £4.2bn last year. Group chief executive David Nish said the showing for 2009 was an impressive performance in challenging market conditions.

“This momentum, coupled with the recent recovery in market levels, will benefit the group’s future profits and cash flow. Our priority now is to execute our growth strategy to accelerate the performance of Standard Life as a long-term savings and investments business,” he added.

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