The Isle of Man-based life company announced in its latest results that enhanced relationships with brokers in Latin America has made the area its highest growth region.
“Enhanced relationships with brokers in Latin America has seen the region continue to grow strongly in Q4 [the second quarter of 2018] and is our highest growth region for the year, up 36.5%.
“Our recently announced licence in the Bahamas will assist us to further build and capitalise on growth in this market,” the report said.
The newly-licenced company, Hansard Worldwide Limited (HWL), is due to begin trading later this year and will also be responsible for the firm’s remaining global expatriate business.
Far East license
Looking forward, Hansard said, having re-positioned its business in the Middle East to locally licensed distribution, it now planned to implement a similar model in the Far East later in the current financial year.
“While the changing landscape has resulted in fluctuations in business levels over the past couple of years, we remain confident that we can capitalise on opportunities to successfully grow the business in the near and medium term,” the report said.
The group continues to manage its litigation relating to the legacy operations of Hansard Europe, the majority of which relates to external funds which have become illiquid and/or lost a substantial amount of their value.
Hansard recently won its largest single case, based in Belgium, which had an exposure of £6.5m ($8.5m, €7.3m). However, the life company expects the plaintiffs to appeal the decision and is awaiting formal notification.
In May, Hansard was notified of a new Italian action being brought by a group of contract holders related to illiquid funds.
Further, the result statement says litigation has been taken in Hansard Europe’s home jurisdiction of Ireland with an exposure of £3.2m.
“This is again related to substantial loss of value from funds advised by independent financial advisers.
“Our view remains that we are not responsible for the investment advice of independent financial advisers or for the subsequent investment management of those external funds.
“We therefore continue to believe that we are more likely than not to win any such litigation,” Hansard said in its results statement.
Present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) of £36.8m for the fourth quarter of the financial year ended 30 June 2018 (i.e. the 2nd quarter of 2018), was up by 6.7% from £34.5m in the same period last year.
However, full year PVNBP was £146.6m, representing a 1.1% decline from £148.3m in the 12 months ending 30 June 2017.
The 2017 full year PVNBP figure of £148.3m represented a 24.3% rise from £119.3m for the full 2016 financial year.
“Our annual results show the continued delivery of strong levels of new business growth across all the regions in which we operate. We expect to see this continuing into the current financial year,” Gordon Marr, group chief executive, said.
Middle East and Africa
Hansard put growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to Q2 2017 down to improved regular premiums in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, offset by lower sales in the Far East.
PVNBP for the Middle East and Africa for Q4 2018 was £11.4m, up by 101.8% from £5.7m in the same period last year.
Far East PVNB declined by 56.5% from £9.2m in Q4 2017 to £4m in Q4 2018.
“Middle East & Africa has continued to grow as we concentrate on high quality business through our locally licensed partner in the UAE.
“We have successfully recovered from the position 12 months ago when one of our larger brokers in that region ceased writing business,” the statement said.
Assets under Administration
Group Assets under Administration (AuA) for Q4 2018 were £1,036.2m, marginally down from £1,049.7m in the same quarter last year.
For the full 2018 financial year AuA was £1,036.2m, a decline of £13.5m when compared to 2017’s £1,049.7m figure.
“During Q4 2018, fair value adjustments totalling £28.3m have been made to a range of contract holder assets held predominantly within Hansard Europe.
These adjustments are made based on the most recent information available in relation to suspended funds or funds in the process of liquidation. They may be subject to refinement during the period up to the release of our audited financial statements,” the report said.