In its latest results the IoM-based long-term savings specialist highlighted record assets under administration and positive new business figures.
For the six months from June to December 2017, assets under administration at Hansard increased 3.5% to £1.09bn (€1.23bn, $1.51bn).
New businesses margins nudged forward 0.1%, affected by a slow onboarding process of the Union deal they struck in the UAE.
The strategic alliance with Union Insurance Co went live in February 2017 and involved the provision of two new savings and investment products under the brand name ‘Infinity’.
“We have started to see some material contribution with Union in UAE,” Marr told International Adviser. “Onboarding was slow but it’s picked up and we see it as one of our pillars of the business going forward.
“From launch to get all the distributors licenced and trained took longer than expected – it was more of an administrative issue.
“It is only the second time a business has attempted something like this, it was a first for us and we expect to use it as a template in other jurisdictions.”
However, Hansard’s UAE figures have also been marred by the loss of a distribution partner.
Graham Morrall, sales and distribution chief, said: “New business is up and assets are up. We have had good inflows as the business gains momentum. We did lose a distributor, which was annoying to say the least.
“The loss of the distributor was not foreseen and was a product of growing from a smallish business to a large business. It is something which could have happened to any company.
“It is a hiccup which has worked through the system now and the outlook is now very positive.”
Morrall said the firm was continuing its quest to win a licence in Japan, which he said would have the effect of balancing Asia’s contribution with the other regions in which Hansard operates; Europe, Middle East & Africa and Latin America. Asia contributes 20% of new business.
Marr said the focus of the business for 2018 is on scaling the business organically but he revealed: “Union type arrangements are of interest and we are having conversations in other regions (outside the ME) but nothing is concrete.”
Figures for the six-month period showed a business absorbing rapid change.
- New business levels for the group were £77.1m on a present value of new business premiums basis, up 3% from the previous six months;
- International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) profits were £3.5m for the period, down from £4.4m. Hansard said profits were reduced by lower income in Hansard Europe (which is closed to new business in 2013), increased litigation defence costs and foreign exchange fluctuations;
- Muted new business margin was “affected by increased acquisition expenses and business mix”;
- The interim dividend of 1.8p per share was in line with previous guidance.