Royal London, the UK’s largest
mutual life insurance and pension company, has taken its place
amongst the top three providers of individual life protection
insurance in the country.

This development comes as a sequel to a fierce battle in late-2007
for control of Resolution Life between closed life insurance fund
manager Pearl Group and UK Standard Life which ended in victory for

For Royal London, Pearl’s partner in the bid for control of
Resolution, the spoils of victory were the new individual life
protection business operations of two Resolution units, Phoenix
Life Assurance and Scottish Provident.

These came at a cost of £1.25 billion ($2.46 billion) to Royal
London which also provided £300,000 of the debt funding required to
finance Pearl’s offer for Resolution. Royal London’s acquisition of
the Phoenix Life and Scottish Life businesses and assets was
completed at the end of July 2008. These acquisitions brought with
them 1.25 million additional policyholders, increasing Royal
London’s total customer base to over 4 million people of which over
1.1 million have life protection plans.

Scottish Provident will continue to operate as a separate brand
alongside Royal London’s existing specialist protection brand,
Bright Grey.

Phoenix Life focuses on the distribution of protection products via
the branches of UK bank Abbey, a unit of Spanish bank Grupo

“We have now reached an important landmark in the implementation of
Royal London’s strategic plans in the protection market,” said CEO
Mike Yardley.

“Having three specialist businesses, each with a very strong
proposition and successful track record, enables us to
significantly increase our presence in the UK protection

Yardley continued that the three protection businesses recorded
total new annual premiums of almost £90 million in 2007. This
represented a combined share of over 10 percent of the UK’s
individual life protection market.

In total, Bright Gray and Scottish Provident secured over 18
percent of individual protection new business through
intermediaries in 2007, which would have ranked as one of the top
two providers.