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IPE special report May 2018

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Danica grows client base by 9% in 2016

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Danica Pension, Denmark’s second-biggest commercial pension provider, recorded a 9% increase in labour market pension scheme clients in 2016.

It announced the figure in connection with the release of its full-year financial results. Danica Pension’s total profit before tax was DKK2.22bn (€299m), against DKK1.96bn in 2015.

It said that premiums from business customers with more than 200 employees increased by about DKK900m, due in part to an increase in the number of these clients.

Per Klitgård, Danica Group CEO, said: “We are pleased that so many companies in 2016 chose Danica Pension for their employees, and we see the trend continuing into 2017, as we have welcomed several major customers – companies as well as in the labour market pension area.”

The pension provider will increase its focus on handling large customers, he added. A spokeperson for Danica, which manages DKK380bn of assets, told IPE that it does not disclose the name of clients.

Last October one of Danica’s competitors, PKA, the DKK250bn labour-market pension provider, launched a drive to win new business from the country’s big providers. The Danica spokesman said that it has “no comment on PKA or other firms in the business”.

Danica said its strategy to grow its market share in Norway and Sweden resulted in a 17% increase in premiums in Norway relative to 2015, and a 13% increase in premiums in Sweden.

It said the growth in total premiums in 2016 – more than 14% – also reflected the effect of it strengthening its collaboration with Danske Bank, aimed at “ensur[ing] attractive pension offers and comprehensive solutions for both personal and business customers”.

The full-year figures Danica reported for its pension products are largely in line with early return figures it announced in January, as reported by IPE.

It reiterated its view that the results show its investment strategy, which the provider has modified to increase direct investment, is working. Danica said it was able to provide “a satisfactory and attractive return” in 2016.

Klitgård said: “We are pleased that our investment strategy is now really paying off, to the benefit of our customers in the form of attractive returns in 2016. 

“Our strategy [is] creating long-term, robust portfolios, so that major political events such as Brexit and the US presidential election do not expose our customers’ savings to unnecessary risk. We succeeded in this respect, providing our customers with strong absolute returns while taking a prudent approach to risk.”

The return on its Balance, Link, and Select products was 5.5% before tax in 2016, with the lifecycle product Danica Balance producing an overall return of 5.7% before tax.

A customer with a medium-risk profile in the Balance product would have received a return of 7.5%, according to the pension provider, placing it second among Danish commercial pension companies in terms of returns.

Expenses fell by DKK52m – roughly 4% – in 2016, and now account for 0.36% of provisions, according to the provider.

Last year Danica Pension made it possible for private investors to invest directly in its property portfolio, and it said that “our customers showed great interest in the product”.

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