Legal & General enters European de-risking market with €200m deal

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The UK’s Legal & General has entered the European pension de-risking market, reinsuring €200m of Dutch pension obligations.

Taking on risk from ASR Nederland was a “significant milestone”, Legal & General Re chief executive Manfred Maske said in a statement.

It is the first deal executed through L&G Re, set up in 2014.

Such transactions have largely been limited to UK, US and Canadian pension funds as a means of de-risking, although there has been limited activity in Ireland, such as manufacturer Analog completing a buyout of its Irish scheme in August.

James Mullins, head of risk transfer at UK consultancy Hymans Robertson, said the ASR deal confirmed there was now a global market for risk transfer.

“With more choice of markets,” Mullins added, “reinsurers that are taking on longevity risk may look to increase pricing over the longer term.

“But that goes against the trend we have seen for some time now of reinsurers keeping prices low.

“Strong competition, intense interest in the sector and appetite for deals has kept it that way.”

Kerrigan Procter, managing director at Legal & General Retirement, added: “The pension risk transfer business has become a global business for Legal & General.

“The potential market for pension risk transfer in the US, UK and Europe is huge and will play out over many decades.”

Prudential, active in the de-risking market both in North America and the UK, has long predicted de-risking would spread across Continental Europe.

Its head of longevity insurance, Amy Kessler, recently said growth was “inevitable”.

Speaking at the International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions in Lyon in September, she said: “Globalisation is just beginning, with activity spreading quickly from the US, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands to France, Germany, Switzerland, the Nordics, Australia and beyond.”

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