Annual General Meetings are by definition regular events. However, Scottish Friendly’s Annual General Meeting for 2015, which takes place today, is a little more special.
For a start, as you may have seen from this morning’s media coverage, Scottish Friendly has reached a landmark in its assets under management: it has reported that at the end of 2014, it reached the milestone £1 billion mark. In fact, funds under management increased to £1,078m in 2014, a rise of eight per cent, up from £997m in the previous year.
Scottish Friendly’s delegates, who look after the interests of its members, will also hear that, as previously announced, the increase in assets comes on top of a 5 per cent rise in total sales from £20.6m in 2013 to £21.6m in 2014.
Strong growth in sales from partnerships, such as the one with Sun Life Direct announced last year, helped to increase sales, increase membership numbers and maintain acquisition costs.
The other special item at today’s AGM is that Scottish Friendly’s delegates will be voting on our proposed takeover of Marine and General Mutual (M&GM) a move originally announced in February. There are other approvals to be reached and subject to these, the transfer is due to complete on 31 May 2015.
Scottish Friendly’s continued strong results and its sound course for future development have captured the attention of the media and Chief Executive Fiona McBain was today interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Good Morning Scotland’ programme.
On the programme when asked about how the takeover of Marine & General Mutual, subject to final approval, will affect Scottish Friendly’s business, Fiona said: “It will mean our assets will grow to £2.2 billion, an increase of over 100%. However, our headcount will increase by less than 10% demonstrating our economies of scale.”
Fiona went on: “We see the takeover as a classic case of sticking to doing what we do well. Although this represents a significant increase in scale, this is about products we know how to administer and we have proven experience in this.”
You can hear the full interview here. (Forward to 1:48:15.)
You can also read some of today’s media coverage: