Diamond company cuts £870m buy-in deal

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The De Beers UK Pension Scheme has completed an £870m full buy-in, covering 1,464 current pensioners and 473 deferred members.    

The buy-in with specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corporation follows several years of derisking the scheme, said Mike Page, who chairs the trustee board. 

Page thanked the trustees and advisers Hymans Robertson, Barnett Waddingham and Linklaters for their role throughout the process in scoping and executing the transaction, saying the deal “further increases the security of scheme members’ benefits”.   

The trustees chose PIC for its flexibility and ability to complete the transaction in volatile markets, as well as its overall track record, including “a deep-seated commitment to customer care”, he added.   

Tristan Walker-Buckton, co-head of origination at PIC, said his firm was proud to have worked with the trustees of the De Beers UK Pension Scheme.   

“2024 has started strongly in the pension risk transfer market and we expect another record-breaking year,” he said.   

PIC received legal advice from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang.  

Founded in 1888 by British imperialist Cecil Rhodes, who bought small mines on the de Beers farm in South Africa, De Beers Group is now a global diamond company that has been owned by Anglo American for the past 13 years. It is active in exploration, mining, grading and retail, including synthetic diamonds. Its natural diamonds are mined in Botswana - which holds a minority stake in De Beers and operates the equal joint venture Debswana with it - as well as Canada, Namibia and South Africa.

PIC is known for taking mainly large pension risk transfers. In February 2023, it revealed that it had underwritten insurance company RSA’s two pension schemes, totalling £6.5bn of liabilities and covering the pensions of 40,000 members. Last month, retailer Next completed a £510m full buy-in with PIC. 

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