Athene doubles pension risk transfer deals
Athene Holding Ltd, a life reinsurer and retirement services company, reached $6 billion in total pension risk transfer transactions for 2019 — more than double the volume of the previous year.
The Bermudian-based company's 2019 total includes about $800 million from a recently completed funded reinsurance transaction with a leading UK insurance company.
Under the terms of Athene's inaugural transaction in the UK market, which closed December 19, 2019, the company will reinsure a block of pension benefit liabilities through its wholly owned subsidiary Athene Life Re International Ltd.
In the space of a few years, Athene has become a leader in the PRT industry, managing pension payments for more than 168,000 annuitants. Since 2017, Athene has closed 16 pension risk transfer transactions totalling nearly $11 billion.
“We are excited about our progress within the PRT business during the last few years,” said Bill Wheeler, president of Athene.
“This year alone we have closed on more than twice the volume we closed on in all of 2018 — all with attractive targeted returns. As a leader in the US pension risk transfer market, we are now pleased to bring our strength and expertise to offer solutions to companies in the UK pension market as a reinsurance partner to domestic insurers.”
Sean Brennan, EVP of pension risk transfer and flow reinsurance at Athene, said: “Similar to the prospects we continue to see in the US, we anticipate the UK PRT market could also be an attractive long-term growth opportunity for Athene.
“Our differentiated investment, actuarial, risk-management, and operational capabilities, combined with our strong balance sheet, position us well to serve the £2.3 trillion (approximately $3 trillion) UK defined benefit marketplace. Our recent transaction represents Athene's ability to provide a reinsurance risk transfer solution in a complex and evolving landscape.”
Athene is one of Bermuda's fastest-growing companies and part of the island's burgeoning long-term insurance market.
It issues, reinsures and acquires retirement savings products designed for the increasing number of individuals and institutions seeking to fund retirement needs.
Athene had total assets of $144.2 billion as of September 30, 2019.