BT exec joins CommInsure to push annuities


By Elizabeth Somerville

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CommInsure has appointed George Lytas to the newly created position of head of annuities within its superannuation and investments business.

The role, which would be supported by an experienced team, would help to drive the growth of CommInsure’s annuities business and increase awareness in that space, Lytas told financialobserver yesterday.

“The retiree segment is a growing and an important part of CommInsure’s strategy,” he said.

“CommInsure believes annuities will play an increasing role in retirement for Australian investors who are looking for regular income streams which are unaffected by movements in markets and changing economic conditions.”

That growth was demonstrated by Investment Trends’ “Retirement Planner Report“, which found 59 per cent of planners intended to use annuities in 2015 compared to 38 per cent in 2014 and 32 per cent in 2013, he added.

Commenting on the appointment, CommInsure general manager of superannuation and investments Greg Ballard said: “[Lytas] joins our business at a pivotal time in the industry where there is increasing demand for guaranteed retirement income products, such as annuities, which can help provide adequate savings in retirement.”

Lytas, who has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, most recently worked at BT Financial Group, where he was acting head of general insurance.

Prior to his move to BT in 2011, he headed up ING’s product development division for five years and was responsible for the development of retirement income and investment solutions.

He has also held senior roles with AMP, Colonial and Royal SunAlliance Group.

Further to this appointment, Colonial First State (CFS) announced in October last year that it would provide annuities from both CommInsure and Challenger through its FirstWrap and FirstChoice platforms.

The products offered would comprise 70 per cent of the Australian annuities market and would be made available mid-2015 after functionality had been built, CFS said at the time.

In addition to this, CommInsure was named as a finalist in two annuity-related categories at the Association of Financial Advisers and Plan for Life 2014 Life Company of the Year Awards in Sydney earlier this month.

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