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MetLife hits GBP5bn in assets


UK wealth manager MetLife now has over GBP5 billion in assets under management, citing the demand for certainty as a driver for its growth. 

The firm writes that ongoing volatility and low interest rates highlight the need for a level of income certainty and flexibility in retirement. The firm has seen assets under management grow fivefold in under six years, having reached the GBP1 billion level at the end of November 2010.
Growth has been accelerated by its expansion into ISAs with the launch of its guaranteed stocks and shares ISA last November underlining the growing demand for guaranteed solutions, the firm says. Research among advisers shows strong demand for innovation in retirement and investment solutions to help savers deal with uncertainty, according to the firm with 67 per cent of advisers wanting to see more solutions which can guarantee a level of income in retirement and safeguard savings against volatility.
Advisers are looking to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Treasury for support for innovation with 54 per cent saying they would back campaigns to outline the benefits of guaranteeing a level of income. Dominic Grinstead, Managing Director, MetLife UK, says: “We have seen strong demand following pension freedoms with advisers and clients focusing on the need for certainty and flexibility.
“Guaranteed solutions are proving particularly valuable given current uncertainty but the growth in assets under management since launch in 2007 shows the strength of the market throughout different conditions.
“Achieving the GBP5 billion milestone highlights the need for flexible innovative solutions to challenge annuities and traditional drawdown both of which have limitations in the current market.”
The firm writes that MetLife’s Retirement Portfolio was enhanced in September and is the first product designed for pension freedoms providing a choice of income and capital guarantees. MetLife’s flexible guaranteed drawdown plans offers the potential for daily lock-ins of investment gains while enabling savers to start, stop and restart their income to suit their personal needs. Customers can choose from a range of investments to build a personalised retirement plan suited to the levels of risk they are willing to take while having the choice of a valuable guaranteed level of income for life or a guaranteed capital sum at retirement.   
MetLife expanded its range of retirement and investment solutions with its stocks and shares guaranteed ISA, offering a choice of income or capital guarantees and delivering increased certainty and flexibility for savers. Meanwhile, its ISA Portfolio enables savers who invest in the Secure Income Option to take a guaranteed level of income for life from age 55 while customers using the capital guarantees have the certainty of a guaranteed amount at the end of their chosen term.

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