Canada Life In’tl tweaks portfolio bonds to boost ‘flexibility’

Canada Life International, the UK-market-focused life insurance-based financial product provider, has made a number of changes to its Premiere Account and Premiere Europe Account that it says are aimed at providing “greater flexibility” for its clients.

Among the key changes is a reduction in the minimum single investment level to £50,000 from £100,000, the company said in a statement today.

The Premiere Account is available via Canada Life International in the Isle of Man while the Premiere Europe Account is available from Canada Life Assurance in Dublin.

Other changes to these Canada Life bond products are as follows:

• The maximum age of the youngest life assured has been increased to 89 from 79

•  The minimum additional investment amount has been reduced to £2,500 from £5,000; this “applies to new and existing policies, excluding discounted gift trusts”

•  The maximum number of “segments**” has been increased, to 99,999 from 998, with the default set at 12,000

•  The minimum value per segment reduced to nothing, from £2,000, for new policies

•  Recurring single premiums are now to be “supported via a new, simplified application process”.

Additionally, the company said it’s added the Segregated Portfolio Service (SPS) to its Premiere Europe Account. The SPS is designed to permit an “approved discretionary investment manager”  to use a wider range of assets, including direct equities, while still meeting HMRC regulations for international bonds, according to Canada Life.

This, it notes, can enable discretionary investment managers to facilitate bespoke investment packages for their clients, even as they “potentially lower investment manager fees”.

Canada Life International’s managing director and executive director of its international businesses Sean Christian noted that the changes had been brought in to give customers “greater choice and more options” when it came to the company’s two most popular portfolio bonds.

“The central tenet of the Canada Life International proposition is freedom – we don’t try and tie advisers down to one platform, or one jurisdiction, a single back office system or discretionary investment manager,” he added.

“Ultimately advisers are freely able to pick and choose the best options from the marketplace to suit each and every client.

“Lowering our minimum premium opens up our products to a wider target market, [while] the increase in policy segments provides advisers and their clients with…flexibility.”

Canada Life International is part of Winnipeg, Canada-based Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company. It has offices on the Isle of Man and in Dublin, and at the end of June had combined assets under administration of £14.6bn.

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** Segments are a feature of portfolio bonds and similar products which enable clients to set up their bond in such a way that portions of it may ultimately be withdrawn without otherwise affecting the rest of the bond, which remains intact.  The permissible number of segments and the minimum investment for each segment will vary from provider to provider, but in theory at least, a client might have 50 identical, £2,000 policy “segments” making up their £100,000 bond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

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