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News Updates from the Phoenix Group

Posted: 3rd August 2022

New Taskforce being set up by London Stock Exchange (LSE) plc to drive forward the development of the UK’s capital markets

The inaugural UK Capital Markets Industry Taskforce will be formed of members from across the financial ecosystem. Its objectives will be to stimulate industry engagement to ensure that the UK’s capital markets serve those who seek capital and those who have capital to invest; that they support the UK economy; and strengthen its role as a global financial centre. Chaired by Julia Hoggett, CEO, LSE plc, the Taskforce will also consider how the ecosystem can evolve and support the current and potential future regulatory change to ensure the focus on implementing reform continues and is effectively embedded.

Announcing the formation of the Taskforce, LSE plc highlighted that capital markets are often not discussed in the UK through the lens of their ultimate purpose: to direct capital into the real economy to create the jobs and innovation that have an impact on all our lives, and to help savers, pensioners and policy holders find assets to invest for life events and their retirement. Given their critical role, it is essential that capital markets work effectively. The UK has a superb start-up ecosystem, with world leading universities, a unicorn being created on average every 27 days and world leading fintech and life sciences sectors – among many others. And yet, not all of those great companies reach the scale they need or secure financing in the UK.

Commenting Nicholas Lyons, Chairman of Phoenix Group said: “This new taskforce will play an important role in effecting the change needed to further develop the UK’s thriving ecosystem for high growth companies, while enabling those investing for the long term, such as pension savers, to benefit from the potential of this important asset class. I look forward to working with other members to drive momentum behind reforms of our capital markets to enable the UK to remain a leading global financial centre supporting efficient access to capital.”

The UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, today announces the appointment of Tim Fassam as Public Affairs Director

significant experience and understanding of the UK political landscape and the financial services sector, alongside a proven track record of success in advocating for businesses and their customers.

“His arrival will further strengthen Phoenix Group’s already significant engagement with Government and policy-makers, as we seek to drive change that protects and benefits consumers in the context of all of us living longer lives.”

Tim Fassam, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to join the Phoenix team at this exciting time for the company. Phoenix Group’s scale and role in helping millions of savers, its strong values and its desire to respond to the challenges and benefits of people’s longer lives make it a key voice on a wide range of policy issues. I’m really looking forward to working with their fantastic team to grasp this opportunity.”

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, announces today that it has hired Kalina Lazarova as its Corporate Governance and Voting Lead

Within the Sustainable Investments team. Kalina will work closely with Valeria Piani, Head of Stewardship, to evolve the company’s work on proxy voting models and strategy as well as its corporate governance strategy.

Kalina joins Phoenix Group having spent over 7 years at BMO Global Asset Management as Head of Governance, Responsible Investment, where she led on policy development and implementation of global corporate governance policies, as well as working with external fund managers and meeting commitments under the UNPRI and UK Stewardship Code. Kalina also spent time at Fidelity Investments International and Governance for Owners LLP.

Valeria Piani, Head of Stewardship, Phoenix Group, said:

“We are extremely excited to welcome Kalina to Phoenix Group. We are continuing to build out our capabilities within our responsible investment team, and the development of our stewardship framework is key to that. Kalina’s vast experience in the voting and governance space will be a major asset to the team.”

Kalina Lazarova, Corporate Governance and Voting Lead, added:

“I am delighted to be joining Phoenix at such a pivotal moment in their responsible investment journey. I have watched with interest as they have made great strides within this space and I hope to be able to continue to develop the strategy on voting and governance.”

As the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, Phoenix Group is responsible for managing c. £310 billion of assets on behalf of its c.13 million customers and continues to use its size and scale to play its part in delivering a secure and sustainable future.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, announces today that is has provided £90 million of long-term funding by means of a private placement to Alliance Homes, a regulated social housing provider.

The transaction marks an increase in Phoenix’s UK social housing holdings to above £2.5 billion.

Phoenix was chosen as lead investor with funding provided through Macquarie Asset Management, a key asset management partner.

The investment by Phoenix will support Alliance in developing c.2,000 affordable homes over the next ten years to help address the UK housing crisis. Alliance will use part of the funds to invest in improving the sustainability of its current housing stock by bringing all homes to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or better.

The funding for the private placement, which was heavily oversubscribed through a tender process, was for a total value of £100 million and will be drawn in tranches aligned with Alliance’s business needs, giving long-term certainty of funding as it pursues its housing ambitions.

James Holkham-Coates, Investment Manager, Phoenix Asset Management, said:

“We are delighted to have provided Alliance with £90 million of funding to support its development programme in North Somerset and its decarbonisation ambitions. This investment further underlines Phoenix’s commitment to help tackle the UK’s housing crisis and support the levelling up of the whole of the UK in a sustainable manner.

Katrina Michael, Chief Financial Officer, Alliance added:

“The challenges of addressing the current affordable housing shortage while investing in existing homes and communities and becoming more sustainable are top of the agenda for Alliance Homes. This funding will allow us to meet our corporate goals and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Phoenix and Macquarie to achieve our ambitions.”

Gareth Edwards, a Senior Vice President at Macquarie Asset Management, said:

“We welcome the opportunity to play a role in supporting the delivery and maintenance of essential housing solutions for those most in need across the West of England. Through our long-established partnership with Phoenix, we are delighted to further support Alliance in their mission to help address the national housing shortage by building quality, affordable and energy efficient homes.”

Phoenix Group is partnering with Rest Less, a digital community for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond, as part of its age diverse recruitment strategy.

The UK’s largest savings and retirement business is marking the start of its partnership with Rest Less by advertising for more than 100 roles across the business with the website. All the roles advertised on Rest Less focus on skills and behaviours, and are being offered on a flexible, hybrid, full and part-time working basis, giving greater flexibility for those who need to balance work with caring or other responsibilities.

The adverts also avoid using language that research shows could deter older applicants. This is because some people will rule themselves out of even applying if they feel the role is meant to appeal to a younger audience.

Age diverse recruitment is part of Phoenix Group’s wider Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy.

Commenting on the new partnership with Rest Less, Phoenix Group’s Head of Talent, Development and Inclusion, Tamar Hughes, said:

“I am delighted that Phoenix Group is partnering with Rest Less as part of our ongoing efforts to promote age diverse recruitment.

“The over-50s represent a third of the UK’s workforce and yet often, due to their age, they will find it much harder to re-enter or change careers within the workforce.

“That is why we have launched our partnership with Rest Less with job adverts that focus on the behaviours and skills required, rather than the personality of an applicant, to avoid deterring any age group.

“Working to recruit, retain and retrain older workers is a vital part of Phoenix Group’s mission to help people secure a life of possibilities and I look forward to working with Rest Less and others to help deliver on this aim.”

Stuart Lewis, Chief Executive of Rest Less, added:

“We are delighted that Phoenix Group has chosen Rest Less as its partner to support its age-inclusive recruitment strategy. Older workers have much to offer the workplace yet age discrimination is still far too common. We are proud to work with organisations like Phoenix Group who value the contributions that experienced employees make in the workplace and the multitude of benefits of having multigenerational teams working together.”

Colleagues from Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, have been selected to feature in the prestigious Empower Future Leaders Role Model List for 2022.

Rabya Akhtar and Imran Khan, have both been included on the list, which showcases the ethnic minority talent working at all levels of business who are making a significant contribution inside and outside of their organisations to increase opportunities for people of colour.

Rabya, who is a workplace pensions relationship manager, is a founding co-chair of the MOSAIC network, Phoenix’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community network for colleagues that seeks to enhance the cultural awareness of diverse communities, and also helps to actively drive diversity and inclusion across Phoenix Group. This is the second year she has been included in the Empower Future Leaders Role Model List, having previously secured inclusion last year.

Imran, who is a business development manager, is also a founding co-chair of MOSAIC and has been instrumental in the inception and implementation of a successful new diversity data application – ‘Who We Are’ – that drove up diversity data completion rates to more than 75% within only eight weeks. ‘Who We Are’ provides a modern, safe and confidential way for colleagues to share their diversity data. The initiative also enables colleagues to learn more about the many areas of diversity through a corresponding educational site.

As well as this work, Rabya and Imran also lead the MOSAIC committee, made up of 12 colleagues from across the business. The MOSAIC committee has organised events to promote personal and professional development and social and cultural awareness, which have been attended by hundreds of colleagues from across Phoenix Group.

Phoenix Group is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the diverse nature of its customers and communities in which it operates.

To be included on the Empower Future Leaders Role Model List for 2022, both Rabya and Imran were nominated by peers and employees for the award. The nominations were then reviewed by an esteemed judging panel, who scored nominees on: the influence of their role; their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside of the workplace; and their business achievements.

Tamar Hughes, Group Head of Talent and Organisational Development at Phoenix Group, said:

“At Phoenix we believe that having greater diversity of thought, experience and outlook within our business will help us better understand our customers and meet their varied and changing needs.

“Rabya and Imran put their passion for building a diverse and inclusive business into action every day so it’s great to see them being recognised with this prestigious award for the work they are doing not just at Phoenix Group but across the whole industry.”

Phoenix Group’s programme of diversity and inclusion focuses on gender, ethnicity, disability and social mobility with specific objectives and priorities for each. The group has nine active colleague networks, including MOSAIC, which celebrate the diversity of colleagues, and who collaborate and contribute to making Phoenix Group an inclusive place to work.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long terms savings and retirement business, has launched a new Innovation Forum that will look to use the latest FinTech innovation to build greater engagement and support the well-being of its customers, driving forward greater financial inclusion.

In collaboration with TCS’ Co-Innovation Network (TCS COIN™) innovation ecosystem and FinTech Scotland, the Phoenix Innovation Forum will invite FinTech enterprises and entrepreneurs to explore partnership opportunities that will introduce innovative thinking and new ways of working. Phoenix will be looking to work with FinTech firms who share a passion for improving financial wellbeing, with a focus on making a genuine positive impact on customers’ lives on their journey to and through retirement.

Phoenix Group’s purpose is to “help people secure a life of possibilities” and as part of this, it is committed to building greater financial literacy and inclusion. Phoenix looks to engage with its customers throughout the different stages of their life, providing the right products and support, at the right time, to help them make the right choices.

The Phoenix Innovation Forum will give FinTech enterprises and entrepreneurs the opportunity to design, refine and present innovative solutions to senior leaders across Phoenix Group. The initial focus will be on two key engagement themes:
Curiosity – Using creative tools and interactions to spark increased levels of curiosity about saving and financial planning, which can help to nurture greater learning, especially in the area of planning for retirement.
Gamification – Using ‘gamification’ tools and rewards which are interactive to encourage greater engagement in digital channels, by creating an immersive approach and demonstrating to customers the value of saving and investing for the future.

Phoenix’s Managing Director – Pensions and Savings, Colin Williams, said:

“This is a great opportunity for Phoenix to connect key decision makers within our organisation with innovative enterprises. We are looking to fuel creativity and come up with new solutions which really support our customers and build greater engagement and financial inclusion which is important to our Group’s social purpose and part of our long term sustainability strategy. We are looking to deliver forward-thinking propositions and to be at the forefront in developing innovative solutions, working in collaboration with TCS COIN and the FinTech Scotland community.”

Nicola Anderson, Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland commented:

“We are delighted to support the Phoenix Innovation Forum which is a further example of the valuable role FinTech innovation can play in improving customers’ financial engagement and well-being. Phoenix’s commitment to innovation to support its large customer base and its partnership approach will attract significant interest from FinTech entrepreneurs who share their ambition of helping customers more effectively engage with savings and investments.”

Vivekanand Ramgopal, Global Head – TCS BFSI Products and Platforms, commented:

“Enterprises are looking to form collaborative, purpose-driven ecosystems to launch innovative new offerings that deepen customer relationships and drive growth. To succeed, they need an extensible, open API-based, future-ready digital core like the TCS platform that powers Phoenix Group’s operations. That agile digital foundation is now enabling our two organisations to co-innovate around client analytics and customer experiences at our Innovation Lab in Edinburgh. We are delighted to expand this partnership with the Innovation Forum, and bring in partners from our extended innovation ecosystem, the TCS COIN, to innovate at scale and at speed.”

The initiative will provide the opportunity for FinTech innovators to develop a potential formal partnership with Phoenix Group to build solutions which will not just benefit Phoenix’s customers, but will contribute to innovation for wider society. FinTech firms looking to be part of the Phoenix Innovation Forum will be able to register their interest in participating via a dedicated page on FinTech Scotland’s website.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has announced it is extending its charity partnership with Samaritans for a further year.

Since the partnership launched in April 2021, Phoenix Group has donated more than £340,000 to Samaritans, the charity that is there for anyone who is struggling to cope, day and night, 365 days a year.

Phoenix Group colleagues have undertaken a variety of activities to fundraise for Samaritans and promote its work across the UK over the last 12 months, including a sponsored virtual walk of almost 300 miles equivalent to the distance between Phoenix Group’s Edinburgh and Wythall offices, as well as taking part in the ‘Santa in the City’ run in London in December. One colleague was so inspired by the way in which Samaritans is there to listen 24 hours a day, he undertook ‘24 marathons in May,’ raising an impressive £2,454.52, which was matched by Phoenix Group.

As well as supporting the charity financially, Phoenix Group colleagues have attended workplace training courses delivered by Samaritans’ experts, as well as awareness raising sessions.

By recommitting to the partnership, Phoenix Group’s employees will have the chance to continue to support the great work that Samaritans does across the UK and to learn more about how to support themselves and their colleagues, particularly at a time of economic and social uncertainty.

Commenting on the extension of Phoenix Group’s partnership with Samaritans, Andy Moss, Phoenix Life CEO and Group Director, Heritage at Phoenix Group said:

“Phoenix Group’s purpose is to help people secure a life of possibilities, and that is why I am absolutely delighted our partnership with Samaritans has reached this important milestone. Initially we entered into a two year partnership, but we very quickly realised its mutual benefits and I am pleased and excited to announce we have extended the partnership for a further year up to the end of March 2024.

“As we extend our partnership with Samaritans for another year, I hope we can build on the enormous amount we have already achieved and continue to ensure that people across the UK have someone to talk to if they are struggling to cope.

“Over the last 12 months, Phoenix Group has donated more than £340,000 to Samaritans, covering the equivalent of more than 66,000 calls for help. But our continuing partnership is an opportunity for us to work with Samaritans to support its needs, not just raising funds, but donating time and sharing skills where needed. Samaritans has also delivered awareness sessions for colleagues, supporting them with difficult conversations and emotional wellbeing.

“At this time of economic and social uncertainty, all charities are vulnerable and we urge financially able businesses to join us in providing charities with a vital lifeline through funding, as well as donating time and skills where there is a need.”

Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, added:

“As we mark the first year of our partnership, I want to thank everyone at Phoenix Group for raising an incredible £340,000 for Samaritans. Phoenix Group’s fundraising efforts will have a long-lasting impact on our services and those who need our support.

“I am delighted our partnership with Phoenix Group has been extended for a further year, until April 2024, so we can build on our work together and ensure Samaritans will be there for anyone struggling to cope in the future.

“As we continue to live through uncertain and challenging times, Samaritans is needed now more than ever. Continued support from Phoenix Group enables us to be there for anyone, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can’t wait to see what we will achieve together in the future.”

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, is unveiling a new and modern visual identity for its corporate brand that will provide the foundations for building even stronger brand engagement with core audiences.

The introduction of a new visual identity represents an important milestone in Phoenix Group’s evolution from a traditional closed book consolidator, to a purpose-led business with growing consumer brands. The new visual identity looks to reflect Phoenix Group’s purpose – “helping people secure a life of possibilities”- and the modern organisation it is today.

Andy Briggs, Group CEO of Phoenix Group, comments:

“The launch of Phoenix Group’s new visual identity is an important landmark in our journey and growth story, and reflects the evolution we are undergoing as a purpose-led business. We want to help everyone ‘secure a life of possibilities’ – that is our purpose – and I believe it’s a purpose that has never been more important. With an ageing population and people living longer, a savings gap for many, and the need to act sustainably, we are looking to make a difference to the things that matter most to the lives of millions of people. For us that means providing the right guidance and products at the right time, and helping to really engage people in their financial future. It also means taking responsible and sustainable investment decisions and using our scale and expertise to drive forward change for the better, on behalf of the 13 million customers we have across all our brands. The introduction of our new visual identity supports our strategy and will enable us to build our presence as a leading organisation.”

As part of its brand strategy, Phoenix Group is also introducing an endorsement approach that will show a visible connection across its consumer brands. It will spotlight the strength of Phoenix Group as a purpose-led business, while making it clear that its consumer brands, which include Standard Life and SunLife, are “part of Phoenix Group”. The endorsement approach will enhance the collective strength of Phoenix Group as a whole, while helping its customer brands to thrive and grow. Each brand within Phoenix Group continues to play an important role in delivering the Group’s purpose and growth strategy.

As a leading employer, the launch also supports the company’s focus on building a strong and engaging employer brand that encourages the diversity of thought and experience needed to foster a positive culture, and create products and services that deliver great outcomes for customers.

The new visual identity and brand strategy for Phoenix Group will be introduced in an efficient way over the coming months.

Ben Rhodes, Brand Director, Phoenix Group, comments:

“The introduction of our new visual identity and brand endorsement represents a clear commitment to engaging more deeply with our growing audiences, and an indication of the collective power of our suite of well-known brands, to help people achieve a better financial future. The changes we have made reflect our purpose, and our optimism for the future for our c 13 million customers and as we grow our organisation, while staying true to our strengths of stability and confidence. The combined scale and strength of Phoenix Group provides a platform for our customer facing brands to thrive and grow, which we reflect in the clearer endorsement of our suite of brands.”

About Phoenix Group’s new visual identity


The design work for Phoenix’s new visual identity was completed by Moving Brands. The changes across the brandmark, colour, typography, graphics, art direction, sonics and motion have been made following extensive research.

The feather icon and wordmark are keystones of the new visual identity. Both are designed to convey optimism and progression, to reflect Phoenix’s purpose of “helping people secure a life of possibilities”, while maintaining stability and confidence. This is further brought to life with the use of a new sonic identity and motion graphics in some of the digital applications of the new visual identity. New photography is also being introduced to express “a life of possibilities”, showing people captured in the moment in real life, to engage with customers and colleagues.

Brand architecture

Phoenix Group is also introducing a master brand endorsement strategy for the brands within the Group, making it clear that each is part of Phoenix Group, showing the power of the brands individually and as a sum of the whole. The approach will be deployed across the portfolio during the course of the year. Each brand within Phoenix Group is playing an important role in delivering the Group’s growth strategy and together their combined strength will deliver on Phoenix’s purpose of “helping people secure a life of possibilities”.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has become the first in the financial services industry to adopt the Social Value Portal – a tool which will enable it to measure and manage the contribution that its business and supply chain makes to society.

The partnership with Social Value Portal will enable Phoenix Group to demonstrate the holistic financial and non-financial benefits of its community engagement programme, which creates benefits for a wide range of local communities where the Group’s offices are based, including Edinburgh, London, Telford and Birmingham.

From fundraising for charity partners, to improving financial literacy in schools and supporting local businesses and councils, Phoenix Group’s community engagement programme aims to create opportunities for social mobility and address societal needs. By using the Social Value Portal, Phoenix Group will be able to quantify the difference it makes through these initiatives.

Andy Moss, Phoenix Life CEO and Group Director, Heritage at Phoenix Group said: “As a purpose-led business, enhancing our social value is really important to us, creating that all-important ‘life of possibilities’ for our customers, colleagues and communities – that is our purpose. By measuring and reporting our progress through the Social Value Portal, we will be able to elevate our community engagement programme to ensure we are best serving the needs of society. The insights gathered from reporting social value will also help us to shape our future community engagement strategy.”

Social Value Portal is an online tool that helps organisations to measure, manage and maximise social value in the community. It currently supports over 150 businesses across public and private sector to report both non-financial and financial data, rewarding them for enriching the lives of those who live and work in the community in which they operate. It also provides the tools to report the social value outcomes in meaningful ways that illustrate the benefits to key stakeholders.

Guy Battle, Chief Executive of Social Value Portal, said:

“2022 marks ten years since the Social Value Act was passed and it is hugely rewarding for us to welcome our first financial services business to the Portal at this time. We look forward to working closely with Phoenix Group to show how the financial services industry can make the most of their community engagement programme, making good go further.”

Phoenix Group’s purpose is focused on “helping people secure a life of possibilities” and its Community Engagement Strategy always looks to drive that forward, finding ways to support those in need and collectively addressing key societal issues across the UK and into Europe.

Phoenix Group has become a member of a new Taskforce that has been set up by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, Scottish Government and Scottish Financial Enterprise to develop Scotland’s position as a global centre of excellence for green and sustainable finance.

The Taskforce will bring together industry leaders and will report to Scotland’s Financial Services Growth and Development Board.

Commenting, James Wilde, Chief Sustainability Officer, Phoenix Group, said: “It’s vital we all respond to the challenges discussed at COP26 and we’re looking forward to being part of the new Scottish Taskforce for Green and Sustainable Financial Services. Working together, we have the potential to establish Scotland as a globally recognised centre for green and sustainable finance that is providing leadership in implementing the goals of Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, aligning investment to net zero.”

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