Phoenix Group acquires £300m equity release portfolio

by | Sep 2, 2021

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Phoenix Group has purchased a portfolio of equity release mortgages from Just Retirement Limited to the value of circa £300 million.

The acquisition was led by the team of experts in Phoenix’s Retirement Solutions business which specialises in equity release and bulk purchase annuities. It is headed up by its Managing Director Tom Ground who has been driving forward the strategy in these markets.

Retirement Solutions is part of Phoenix’s growing Open business led by Andy Curran, CEO Savings & Retirement, UK and Europe, who comments: “Equity release is an important option for many people when it comes to meeting their financial planning needs later in life. It is a growing market that we fully support and know well, Phoenix have been active as a funder in the market since 2016. We’re delighted to have acquired this portfolio and to be securing the retirement plans for more borrowers. This is a testament to the strength and expertise of our Retirement Solutions team led by Tom Ground and you should expect to see more activity from us in the equity release space in the coming months and years.

This purchase is consistent with our Group vision of helping people on their journey to and through retirement. Alongside pension savings, equity release is a valuable part of that toolkit for a growing number of people. This portfolio purchase is also supportive of our strategy to grow our Bulk Purchase Annuity business.”

A total of £1.17bn of property wealth in the UK was unlocked by over-55 homeowners in the second quarter of 2021 according to the Equity Release Council. They also report that one in five (20%) people in their sixties are already using pension savings to pay off their mortgages, despite concerns over exhausting their pots too rapidly. Equity release mortgages provide them with more options.

Phoenix has been active in the growing equity release market since 2016 and at the end of June 2021 about a third of its £10.7bn diversified illiquid asset portfolio comprised equity release mortgages with an average AA rating.

Phoenix’s illiquid portfolio is well diversified across asset types, sub-sectors and regions across the UK, and it has a strong focus on sustainable investments that are helping to build back better and greener. In addition to its equity release mortgage portfolio, its illiquid portfolio comprises of private placements, UK local authority loans, commercial real estate and infrastructure debt.

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