UK - The Vivendi 2008 Pensioners' Scheme is set to buyout its pensioner benefits through a deal with MetLife Assurance.
MetLife says this model offers trustees the opportunity to enter the buy-out process with greater certainty - certainty is says is increasingly important in today's volatile market conditions.
Vivendi 2008 Pensioners' Scheme independent trustee and Capital Cranfield director Steve Godson said: "Our main concern was to ensure long term security for our pensioners and we agreed that transferring to an insurance company was the best way to manage this.
"The agreement achieved has meant we were able to formulate the best buy-out strategy for the pension fund and its members, mitigating the risk we see in the current market conditions."
Jardine Lloyd Thompson - actuaries to the Vivendi 2008 Pensioners' Scheme - advised the trustee on the selection of the provider and implementation of the contract.
JLT head of buyout services Tiziana Perrella explained: "This transaction was particularly challenging due to the tight timescales and critical structure requirements from the trustee and sponsor.
"An efficient and pragmatic approach from all the parties involved was required. A willingness to discuss and negotiate the terms being offered led to a satisfactory deal all round being struck. We believe that the final outcome achieved is a very good one for both the trustee and the members of the scheme."
Amedee Levillain of Zephyrus Partners, specialists advisers to Vivendi, added: "We recognised the current volatile market conditions would make it challenging to meet the exacting brief particularly as an asset sale and in-specie transfer was required.
"We worked hard with MetLife Assurance to develop a transaction model where, following robust discussions, we were able to secure pricing, asset valuations and contract language all on the same day, ensuring no surprises and a safe, competitive solution for Vivendi."
MetLife Assurance chief executive Dan DeKeizer said: "This agreement confirms that despite unprecedented market volatility, there is still strong demand from trustees to find the right solution to secure their pensioner's benefits.
"We are delighted to have developed a solution that puts trustees in a position to enter the buy-out process with greater certainty."
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