UK - Paternoster's business growth of 550% over the past year has helped reinforce sentiment the buyout market continues to gain ground.
Mark Wood, chief executive, Paternoster, told Global Pensions: "There is no sign the market is tailing off. In the first 27 weeks of the year we have transacted business worth around £5.5bn; the same amount as the whole market was worth last year."
Despite the company seeing a slight downturn in completed business in Q2 2008, Wood remained confident.
"Many funds have already got out of a large equity holding, so the falls we have seen recently have not been the major catalyst to the significant uptake in quotation demands over the last two months."
Charlie Finch, partner, Lane, Clark & Peacock (LCP), said although no billion-plus scheme had announced a buyout, there may be deals in the pipeline sorting out final details.
Finch said: "Because of the amount of detail involved, these deals take longer to go through the due diligence process."
Wood said Paternoster had been discerning when evaluating smaller schemes, concentrating on the likelihood of them being able to afford to complete the buyout.
Finch commented that the recent influx in players, such as Swiss Re, would continue due to the size of opportunity within the market.
"LCP predicted there would be £10bn in business this year and even if that does come through, it is still a fraction of the available market.
"Companies will either look to invest indirectly in an existing buyout operation or set up a separate company. The question of consolidation has also become an important one," he concluded.
However, Wood said the consolidation issue had been somewhat overstated.
He said a wider market place offered more options to investors, often some products would be complimentary rather than competitive.
Wood said Paternoster would become a Swiss Re customer in terms of longevity risk trading.
Click here for an interview with Swiss Re's head of pensions, Richard Farr.
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