LONDON (26 September 2019) – Aon plc (NYSE:AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has acted as lead adviser on the purchase of a £4.7 billion full scheme buyout with Rothesay Life by the Trustees of the GEC 1972 Plan and telent.
Through this transaction, the GEC 1972 Plan provides long-term security for the benefits of c.39,000 members. Aon was the lead settlement adviser to both telent and the Trustees, in a role which included putting in place a framework to secure all benefits as well as conducting all negotiations with the insurance market and execution of the transaction. The transaction is in two parts, the buyout will be proceeded by a buy-in. The buyout is expected to be completed before the end of 2022 and will be the largest full scheme buy-out ever undertaken in the UK.
Martin Bird, senior partner and head of Risk Settlement at Aon, said:
“We are extremely pleased to have supported the Trustees and telent in achieving such a positive outcome for members. 2019 has been the busiest year on record for bulk annuities and the ability to stand out from the crowd continues to be the key component of capturing the best insurance pricing and terms. In this case, exemplary governance arrangements combined with a flexible and nimble project group proved invaluable in delivering such a successful outcome.”
John Baines, partner at Aon, said:
"We are very proud to have advised on the two largest bulk annuity transactions ever, both of which have occurred during 2019. This reflects the considerable evolution of the bulk annuity market since the introduction of Solvency II in 2016, with even the very largest schemes now being in a position to access buy-in and buyout structures. However, this does require extremely careful planning, strong governance and the ability to move at speed when the time is right.”
Brian Duffin, Chairman of the Trustee Board to the GEC 1972 Plan, said:
"During its history, from its foundation up to this announcement, the GEC Plan has met its commitments to its members despite many changes and challenges. Over five years ago the Trustee decided that the best way to provide maximum security for our members in the long term would be to achieve buy-out. Thanks to support from our sponsor telent, and to an innovative investment strategy based on credit assets, we are now close to achieving our target. Our negotiations with Rothesay Life have been professional and constructive, and we will be working closely with them to take the final step to implement buyout.
“We believe our members will receive good service from Rothesay Life in future as well as optimal security in the payment of their benefit entitlements."
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Notes to Editors
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.
Aon announced in May 2018 it will retire the business unit brands of Aon Benfield and Aon Risk Solutions, which follows the retirement of the Aon Hewitt business unit brand in 2017. This move was designed to increase the rate of innovation across the firm and make it easier for colleagues to work together to bring the best of Aon to clients. Aon has five specific global solution lines: Commercial Risk Solutions, Reinsurance Solutions, Retirement Solutions, Health Solutions and Data & Analytic Services.
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