Specialist pension insurer Just Group has agreed a £158m (€179.8m) buy-in transaction with the pension fund of pharmaceutical company Wyeth Group, part of Pfizer.The deal covered 1,200 pensioners, according to a statement from Just Group, and marked “a key step in the work of the scheme’s trustees in the long-term aim to de-risk the scheme’s liabilities”.Rob Mechem, head of defined benefit business development at Just Group, said: “This is a well-funded scheme with a trustee board that was fully engaged in the details of every aspect of the process, and was very well prepared in terms of data cleansing and benefit specification.“To ensure they had found the right home for the members’ benefits the trustees were very thorough and even undertook a site visit to review our administration capabilities.” Debbie Berney, trustee of the Wyeth Group Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, added that the deal was “a big step forward in ensuring the scheme is able to meet the full costs of its future pension payments to all members”.Apollo agrees to fund pension scheme to aid takeover bidPrivate equity company Apollo has agreed a funding deal worth more than £50m with the trustees of the RPC Containers Pension Scheme.It follows Apollo’s proposed £3.3bn purchase of RPC, a UK listed packaging company, last month.In a notice to the stock exchange, RPC said Apollo had signed a memorandum of understanding to finance contributions of £5.2m a year for five years and nine months, increasing by 3% annually from April 2020. In addition, the parties had agreed to a £25m contingent assets deal, giving the scheme security over real estate assets. This will reduce to £12m from 2024.In connection with the bid, Apollo has also agreed funding arrangements with two other schemes sponsored by RPC, announced last month.JP Morgan takes stake in DC master trust Defined contribution (DC) master trust provider Smart Pension has secured an investment from US banking giant JP Morgan.The minority equity stake formed part of a new funding round, which has so far raised roughly £50m as Smart Pension seeks to grow its business in the UK and other auto-enrolment markets.As part of the deal, Anne Lester, global head of retirement solutions at JP Morgan Asset Management, will take a non-executive seat on Smart Pension’s board.Lester said: “Smart Pension has demonstrated how financial technology can have a positive impact by making it easier both for people to save for retirement and for companies to offer pension plans to their employees.”UK insurer Legal & General also owns a minority stake in Smart Pension, purchased in 2016. Last year the two providers agreed a partnership to develop a retirement income product.In October, Smart Pension was awarded a mandate to develop a “pensions technology platform” for New Ireland Assurance, while last month it took over Corporate Pensions Trust, a £12.5m master trust run by financial advisory firm Lighthouse Group.Will Wynne, Smart Pension co-founder and managing director, added that the company was in “early stage conversations” with other companies to provide technology to financial institutions as they “grapple with regulatory change and legacy technology”.
After scoring 261 points and 33 tries in winning five successive games, the Lions were dealt a major setback as they lost their unbeaten record in the 14-12 loss. It was the first time they had lost to any provincial team since South African side Northern Transvaal beat them 16 years ago. The defeat came just four days before the first Test against Australia, when the Lions will set out on the road to a possible first series series triumph since 1997, and Leicester lock Parling said: “We spoke straight after the game, and we’ve got to pick ourselves up straightaway. We can’t mope around. This hurts, it hurts like hell, but you can’t start feeling sorry for yourself.” British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling admitted the first tour defeat Down Under “hurts like hell” after Warren Gatland’s side were edged out by the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium. Press Association He added: “There are some massive games around the corner. We can’t afford to have our heads down. That is not just with the game at the weekend in mind, but I am thinking as well about the environment and going back to the hotel. “If people mope around then that might spread. We just can’t afford to be like that. We have a massive game at the weekend and we need to pick ourselves up and get back on the horse. “You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You put a brave face on it and you move on. We need to face this and get on with it.” Parling went on as a second-half substitute and played a key part in underpinning a vastly-improved display after the Lions suffered a mauling during the first 40 minutes. But it was not enough to stave off a defeat, with the Brumbies securing a famous win through three Jesse Mogg penalties after centre Tevita Kuridrani posted an early try. “You’d rather we won and kept that run going. You would rather you did not need a reality check,” Parling added. “But if it has come, we’d rather it come tonight and not at the weekend. It’s very frustrating, and we certainly know we’ve got to be better. “We got a little bit edgy at the lineout, and we need to come back from this. I would love to be involved at the weekend. After you lose any game the thing you want to do is play again as quickly as possible.”