Wesleyan shows continued growth in 2011
Wesleyan Assurance Society, the financial services specialist for doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers, announced a strong set of results for the full year 2011. Despite ongoing difficult market conditions the Society continued to perform strongly.
- 21% increase in Society new business sales* to £42.5m
- 39% increase in life and savings product sales*
- 26% increase in ISA and unit trust sales*
- 24% increase in total premium income to £333m
- 3% increase in total assets to £4.8bn
- 84.2% ten year cumulative gross investment return on main with profits fund
- The gross investment return in 2011 on the main with profits fund of - 0.3% compares favourably with a - 3.5% return on the FTSE All Share Index
- 33.4% higher payouts on with profits endowment policy compared to average**
- Only life office to have been awarded 10-out-of-10 for overall financial strength for seven consecutive years in Cazalet Consulting’s With Profits ratings
Commenting on the results Wesleyan Chief Executive Craig Errington said: “2011 has been another year of strong growth for Wesleyan despite difficult market conditions. Each of our distribution brands delivered against stretching targets to bring in good levels of new business. Our General Insurance broking business also increased new business sales by 34% and Wesleyan Bank had another successful year, with personal loans and savings products selling well.
Our customers have been impacted not only by the economic climate but also by a number of changes which could affect their finances. They value our understanding of their professions and recognise us as a safe place to invest their money because of our financial strength, long term investment return and mutual status. This has contributed to a 39% increase in sales of life and savings products.”
Chairman Bryan Jackson CBE added: “We have a very strong focus on our long term strategic objectives. At the start of the credit crunch we made a decision to continue to develop our business through growth in our professional markets and a relentless drive to deliver value to our policyholders and members. Over the past three years we have grown new business sales by 54%.
2012 will be another challenging year but we expect to achieve further growth in all of the professional markets that we serve. We began the year with the launch of our enhanced investment service and have other initiatives planned to further develop our range of tailored products.
This is against the background of fulfilling the regulatory requirements of Solvency II and the Retail Distribution Review, which are resource intensive projects. The business is in great shape however and we’re confident that we can meet the challenges ahead.”
Other highlights for 2011 included:-
- Wesleyan’s success was recognised through a number of award wins including Customer Service Team of the Year (British Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards); Professional Services Company of the Year (Birmingham Post Business Awards) and Insurer of the Year (Campden Media GP awards)
- Wesleyan’s customers are significantly more likely to recommend it to others than the industry average. Wesleyan scored a net promoter score of +16 compared to the industry average of (-9)
- Almost 73,000 Wesleyan customers benefitted under the Society’s Mutual Rewards Scheme, receiving a £100 voucher
- Continued expansion into the Wesleyan for Lawyers salesforce as national rollout expands
- Launch of Junior Cash ISA
- Continued recruitment to the newly established Sales Relationship Centre which is bringing an additional 90 jobs to the Birmingham Head Office over a two year period
- Apprenticeship scheme extended to recruit 12 new trainees. All of those on the 2011 pilot scheme were offered a permanent position on completion of their apprenticeship
- Samantha Porter became the first woman to join Wesleyan’s Board in the Society’s 170 year history
- Chief Executive Craig Errington named IoD Director of the Year.
The Mutual Manifesto challenges all political parties to show they understand the mutual sector.
Mutuals have proved themselves to be resilient in recent years and have seen rapid increases in market share between 2008 and 2010 being at the forefront of product innovation in the insurance sector.”
John Reeve Chief Executive
Family Investment 2011
The AFM Conference and Annual General Meeting this year was held at The Belfry, West Midlands, between 16 and 18 October.