Phoenix Group

Maitland/AMO has been Phoenix Group’s retained advisor since 2011, supporting the closed-life fund consolidator as it undertook significant restructuring and regrouped after a number of unsuccessful bid approaches.
Challenge

Raise the profile of the group as it reduced debt and restructured for future growth.

Insights

The City and financial media did not understand Phoenix as well as its peers because of the company’s complex history and structure. This lack of understanding would only be solved by explaining Phoenix’s roadmap for growth, even if it was going to take a few years for the company to reach its goals.

Strategy

• Develop a financial communications programme around the long-term objective of both organic growth and future acquisitions.
• Conduct a perception and positioning audit with regulatory and political audiences.
• Build and maintain relationships with key opinion formers in the media through events such as media roundtables.
• Produce the Meaning of Life I and II reports, which positioned Phoenix as a key thought leader in the sector.

Outcome

Phoenix’s share price has doubled since Maitland/AMO’s appointment and the company has completed its restructuring programme, including the divestment of Ignis Asset Management to Standard Life in 2014. Maitland/AMO worked closely with Phoenix as it launched a wide-ranging report into the future of the pensions industry in 2015 and announced the acquisition of AXA Wealth’s pension and protection business in 2016. In 2018, Phoenix announced that it would acquire Standard Life Assurance for £2,930m, making it the pre-eminent life fund consolidator in Europe and fulfilling the growth ambitions of the company.