Birmingham-based Wesleyan Assurance Society said its investment strategy and financial strength helped it deliver a 20.1 per cent investment return on its main with-profits fund last year.
The mutual – which is the only life office to have achieved the top industry ranking for financial strength for five consecutive years – saw the fund swing from -21 per cent in 2008 to a healthy return last year.
Wesleyan, which offers financial services for doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers, this year received 10 out of 10 for overall financial strength in Cazalet Consulting’s with-profits ratings for the fifth consecutive year, setting a new precedent in Cazalet rankings.
Wesleyan chief executive Craig Errington said he believed the figure would be the best return for a with-profits fund in the market.
“We are a financially strong company and that financial strength is really important because it allows us to hold our nerve in difficult markets and take the long-term view,” he said. “Some companies don’t have that strength and that may cause them to come out of equities at the bottom of the market.
“We are able to achieve these results thanks to our investment strategy backed up by our financial strength.”
The firm also reported an 11 per cent increase in new business sales last year from £27.6 million in 2008 to £30 million last year. It also saw a 59 per cent increase in ISA and unit trust sales during the period.
Mr Errington said: “It’s good when you get industry-leading results and recognition through Cazalet and the majority of that is down to the efforts of the staff.’’