July 12, 2020

Canada Life offers jurisdiction choice with Ireland life company launch


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8127562By: Mark Battersby, International Adviser

Canada Life last night launched a new Dublin based life company, designed to offer advisers an additional jurisdiction for their UK clients, at a celebratory dinner in the imposing High Commission of Canada building on the West side of London’s famous Trafalgar Square.

Canada Life International Assurance (CLIA), into which the parent company Great West Lifeco has injected a €7m capital contribution, will sit alongside Isle of Man based Canada Life International and CLI Institutional.

Mark Armstrong, who was previously head of operations at CLI, has been named as managing director of CLIA in charge of seven staff initially.

He said a key reason why Canada Life decided to set up a company from scratch was because they liked the concept of a unit-linked only business: “We are doing this because of our belief in the UK market.”

The new estate planning product offering from CLIA is called the Premiere Europe Account, which is based on the existing Isle of Man Premiere Account.

However the only cross border approval for the Premiere Europe Account is currently into the UK as the plan is to enhance its already huge share of the UK offshore bond market.

“Advisers and their clients are looking for a wide range of offshore investment solutions including a choice of Isle of Man and European bonds from providers with strong financial backing and with a long pedigree in this market,” Armstrong said.

Canada Life’s international arm began operating on the Isle of Man in 1987 and in 2011 it reported a record year for new business, in excess of £1.2bn of premiums, giving a market share of over 20% and total assets under administration of £8bn as at 31 December 2012.

In the first year of operation the expectation is of 10% to 15% of business coming through the Irish jurisdiction, Armstrong said.

Sean Christian, managing director of CLI and CLII, said Canada Life’s estate planning suite of products is “undoubtedly the widest range in the market”.

He added that up until now “we have not been able to offer advisers and their clients a jurisdictional choice of where they take their offshore bond from. The launch of CLIA out of Dublin addresses this requirement and allows the Canada Life group to offer a complete end to end package of choice to the market”.

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