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Our businesses and their performance

United Kingdom and Europe
Insurance and investments

Serving the savings and retirement needs of the ageing population in the UK

Helen’s story
Prudential UK & Europe

‘Thanks to my adviser, I can sleep easy at night knowing that I should be able to achieve my future plans because of the financial security my investments with Prudential should provide. Our annual review meeting is really important because it lets me know if my investments are on track, takes account of any changes in my financial circumstances and gives me a chance to check if there is anything else I can do to get the best from my savings. I chose the PruFund because I don’t really like the fluctuations of shares, but getting better returns compared with a bank savings account is very important to me and the with-profits fund has given me that steady secure growth.

‘I know Prudential will help secure my financial future because I have known them all my life.’

2016 performance highlights

  • Retail new business sales and new business profit both up 33 per cent
  • Significant sales momentum securing record business volumes
  • Market-leading distribution capability focused on intermediary advisers, an in-house direct advice service − Prudential Financial Planning − and a direct-to-customer telephone franchise
  • Significant investment to develop digital distribution capabilities
  • Launch of the Prudential Retirement Account – an online account-based pension saving and retirement plan
  • Two Five Star ratings for excellent service2, achieved for the sixth consecutive year
  • Biggest winner at the Investment Life & Pensions MoneyFacts Awards in 2016, with top awards for the Best Investment Service, Best Investment Bond Provider and Best Online Service

The Prudential brand resonates strongly with customers and advisers navigating through recent retirement market reforms. When combined with an enviable product and distribution capability, the emerging retirement savings marketplace presents an opportunity that few others are capable of serving better than Prudential.

John Foley
Chief Executive Officer,
Prudential UK & Europe

John Foley

Understanding our markets

Retirement market growth diagram

The fundamentals underpinning the UK’s retirement market are changing. Risk and responsibility for retirement provision continue to transfer away from the state and corporates to individuals. As customers adjust to the reforms introduced by pensions freedom in 2015, the new flexible arrangements to control their own pensions have been accompanied by significant complexity, which is adding to the burden of personal responsibility to secure an income in retirement. Investment risk, longevity risk and inflation risk are the risks to be mitigated by today’s retirement saver.

Over 70 per cent of liquid assets in the UK are owned and controlled by the over 50s and this demographic is expected to grow by 2.1 million between 2016 and 2030. More people, with more savings, will live longer. This provides significant new opportunities for Prudential as the demand for risk-managed investments to fund retirement is predicted to rise accordingly.

To meet these opportunities, our product and distribution profile has evolved by increasing the range of product options to mirror the flexibilities of the pensions freedom era. There has been a shift away from a reliance on capital-intensive annuity business to a focus on bond, ISA, pension and income drawdown products across a range of tax-efficient solutions.

Driving our business

Customers

Strong brand franchise with clear focus on providing retirement saving and income solutions that meet customers’ needs in the pensions freedom era.

168 years of providing financial security

Long track record of managing longevity

74 of 99 public sector authorities’ schemes

Products

Product range enhanced, including extended access to our market-leading range of PruFund investments.

75% PruFund growth since 2006

5* ratings for excellent service

Distribution

Multi-channel distribution model based on strong relationships with intermediaries and customers. 11 per cent (CAGR) increase in advisers recommending Prudential since 2013. Prudential Financial Planning is now advising over 50,000 customers.

2,700+ adviser firms dealing with Prudential UK

c300 Prudential Financial Planning partners

Investment for growth

Significant investment in product, service and technology to maintain the growth momentum created by recent structural changes in the retirement market.

20% increase in 2016 sales generated through Prudential Financial Planning

Open all

Customers and products

The Prudential brand benefits from a heritage that stretches back 168 years and a franchise that is based on long-term thinking, longevity experience, market-leading multi-asset investment capability and financial strength – the core attributes that customers continue to seek in the pension freedoms era.

Customer expectations are higher than ever. Increased life expectancy in retirement has put increased demands on long-term product performance, and technology is revolutionising the ways in which company and customer interact. In this changing environment, our brand franchise is strong, resonating with retirement savers.

We continue to focus on meeting these customers’ needs through:

  • Extending our product range and servicing capability to help customers take full advantage of the flexibility introduced to the retirement saving marketplace through pension freedoms;
  • Extending availability of our investment and retirement solutions by maintaining strong relationships with financial adviser intermediaries, accelerating the growth of our Prudential Financial Planning advisory business and through investing in our direct-to-consumer channels, including telephone and online services;
  • Enhancing access to our market-leading PruFund proposition across a range of investment and tax wrappers; and
  • Continually investing in customer service improvement, acknowledged by two Five Star ratings received for the sixth consecutive year in the Life & Pensions and Investment categories of the Financial Adviser Service Awards.

Most notably in 2016, we responded to changes in the market following the introduction of pension freedoms by launching the Prudential Retirement Account – an online account-based plan that provides customers with the flexibility to save for their retirement, provide an income in retirement and facilitate access to their fund as they save. At its core is PruFund, our unique customer proposition managed by the Prudential Portfolio Management Group, our award-winning and market-leading multi-asset management team. From a single fund when launched in 2004, PruFund today comprises six risk-rated funds, offers global investment diversification across 25 different asset classes and delivers smoothing through the strength of the Prudential with-profits fund.

PruFund

PruFund details and chart

The success of PruFund and its popularity among financial advisers and customers is evidenced in investments worth £24.7 billion in funds under management at the end of 2016.

In corporate pensions, we continue to focus on securing new scheme members and supporting existing members to meet their retirement goals. In the public sector, where Prudential is the market leader, providing schemes for 74 of the 99 local authorities in the UK, our focus is on additional voluntary contribution plans.

Having identified a number of alternative capital deployment opportunities within the Group and following the introduction of Solvency II we did not write any bulk annuity business in 2016. We have now withdrawn from this market. Our appetite for individual annuity business has also diminished and we took steps to curtail retail sales by establishing an annuity panel arrangement with a number of firms to provide annuities to our retiring customers. This new service will be phased in over the course of 2017.

Distribution

The foundations of every strong brand are trust and confidence, common denominators in Prudential’s multi-channel distribution capability. The model is centred on the core intermediary channel and direct-to-consumer channels, including Prudential Financial Planning.

Number of adviser firms dealing with Prudential

Number of adviser firms dealing with Prudential chart

At the heart of the intermediary model is ‘the power of three’, a combination of regional account manager, telephone account manager and sales support, all working together as a regional sales unit team. There are 65 regional sales units across the UK, giving 100 per cent nationwide coverage, and each having account managers qualified to at least the same standards as the professional advisers they deal with. This model gives third-party financial advisers the support they need, how and when they need it, through dedicated points of contact either in the field or by phone. This approach delivered an 11 per cent compound increase since 2013 in advisory firms recommending Prudential products to their clients. Sales through our intermediary business have also doubled since 2013.

Prudential Financial Planning reinforces Prudential’s industry reputation as an innovator and has been central to the continued sales growth achieved by the business in 2016. From its inception in 2012, and against a background of industry-wide retrenchment, Prudential Financial Planning is now a top-10 UK advisory business, with close to 300 partners advising more than 50,000 clients.

Our direct-to-consumer customer telephony team is central to our ambitions to grow our direct-to-customers business and in 2016 we strengthened its capability ahead of a range of forthcoming proposition and service developments.

The roll-out of our business in Poland continued in 2016, with sales increasing by 86 per cent in local currency terms. Significant milestones during the year included increasing the number of financial planning consultants to 721, entering the multi-agency market and securing three affinity distribution deals with Polish telecommunications companies.

Investment for growth

We are focused on maintaining the growth momentum created by the structural changes to retirement provision in the UK and on delivering a growth strategy underpinned by investment in product, service and distribution capabilities to meet the evolving needs of customers.

In addition to enhancing access to our market-leading PruFund proposition, we continue to innovate by bringing new and exciting products to the market, such as the Prudential Retirement Account, for our customers who want to use the pensions freedom provisions to their fullest.

Investment in technology is also enabling customers to engage more flexibly with us digitally and online. Easier access to product information for customers is provided by the My Pru app, while our Retirement Ready Guide App was created to provide clear and easy-to-understand information for those coming up to retirement. Technology has also helped us improve online services for advisers and enhance our tele-underwriting service for the Prudential Investment Plan, reducing the amount of time advisers spend on administration and freeing up time to spend with their clients.

We have also focused on deepening our already-strong relationships with independent financial advisers. An important part of our service offering is the ongoing hands-on support for intermediary advisers from our regional sales units, technical helpline and business development and consultancy team. Our adviser webinars attracted more than 10,000 attendees in 2016 while we also hosted 58 adviser seminars across the UK, covering a range of topical and technical subjects, to help these advisers deal with a changing regulatory landscape.

We will also accelerate the growth of Prudential Financial Planning, which currently has close to 300 advisers delivering face-to-face advice in customers’ homes and has introduced a telephone advice service to reflect the additional ways in which customers want to receive financial advice.

The evolving nature of how we interact with customers is also driving our ambitions to grow our direct-to-consumer business, where we have strengthened our capability ahead of a range of forthcoming developments, including launch of a direct-to-consumer ISA.

Sandra and Colin’s story
Prudential UK & Europe

‘On both occasions when our Prudential Financial Planning Partner visited us, we found the meetings to be very informative, helpful and most importantly honest. He carefully advised and helped us to select the products that best suited our individual needs.

‘We know for a fact that we would never have received the customer care and attention from most other organisations, as we are so remote here in the Western Isles, so it was truly a breath of fresh air to do business with Prudential.’

Notes

  1. ABI mixed investment 20 per cent to 60 per cent shares, total return; performance from 29 December 2006 to 30 December 2016.
  2. Ratings in the Life and pensions and Investment categories of the Financial Advisers Service Awards.

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