Standard Life boasts healthy financial picture for first quarter
Standard Life Financial Inc. of Canada recently reported a strong financial position for the first quarter of 2009. It was a surprisingly uplifting story among generally dismal reports across many financial sectors.
Their net inflows from clients grew 274% to $101 million compared to just $27 million for the corresponding period last year. The company reported stable sales revenue and good client retention which remained high at 94.2%. The Standard Life Assurance division maintained a sound solvency ratio which improved to 203% from 198% last year. They did not need to access any additional capital. President and CEO Joseph Iannicelli noted that Standard Life is particularly pleased with the results because:
- They were able to retain assets due to positive net inflows and sustained client retention
- Their solvency ratio has improved due partly to underwriting criteria and investment policies
- They continued to grow their group business, building on last year’s successes in increased market share
During the first quarter of 2009, Standard Life reported that overall premiums and deposits in retirement, investment, and insurance products were in line with the same period for last year because the increase in sales of group products was offset by a decrease in retail sales in a weak market. Their group savings and retirement premiums and deposits increased by 4% to $639 million. Group insurance premiums rose by 4% to $154 million while retail premiums and deposits decreased by 18% to $329 million. Retail guaranteed term funds experienced an 82% increase in sales, reportedly a reflection of their competitive offering and heightened interest by individual investors for more conservative products in today’s context.
The Co-operators Group announce disappointing year-end results
A different financial picture was painted by The Co-operators Group who reported a net income for their group of companies of $82.4 million for 2008, a decrease of 48 percent over the previous year. Despite the huge decrease in a year of unprecedented economic upheaval and market volatility, Co-operators said it had maintained its financial strength, expanded its membership base and made significant contributions to Canadian communities. On a positive note, last year the group purchased a 71.4% stake in Montreal-based Addenda Capital Inc., an institutional asset manager with $35.6 billion under management.
Return on shareholders’ equity declined by almost 50% to 6.2 percent. The group also suffered from rising average claims costs in the property and casualty businesses.
Despite unfavourable market conditions, Co-operators has made a contribution of $617,000 to The Co-operators Foundation that supports worthy causes throughout Canada. The Foundation now has a balance of more than $6 million, using funds to provide financial assistance to social economy enterprises and other worthy causes across Canada.