Colmore Circus-based mutual Wesleyan Assurance Society has announced a 20.1 per cent gross investment return on its with-profits life and pensions fund for 2009.
The society, which was founded in Birmingham in 1841 and specialises in services for professionals, said its higher than average investment in equities had helped it take advantage of the recent rise in stock markets.
Mike Lewis, Wesleyan’s investment director, said: "We believe that investment in quality equity holdings over the long term can contribute significantly to market-leading payouts for policyholders.
"That’s why, despite the poor performance of the stockmarkets in late 2007 and 2008, we maintained our high exposure to equities.
"Our significant financial strength allowed us the flexibility to do this. The result is that we were extremely well placed to take advantage of the upturn in the markets in the second half of last year."
Wesleyan chief executive Craig Errington added: "One of the advantages of being a mutual is that we have no shareholders to consider and can take the right long-term decisions to benefit the Society and our customers.
"This combined with our financial strength has allowed us to maintain our commitment to equities with impressive results.
"With profit funds have received some very negative coverage in recent years.
"Our investment return highlights the strength of our with-profits investments and we believe they will remain an attractive option for investors."
Wesleyan is the only life office to have received a 10/10 rating for five consecutive years in the respected Cazalet With Profits Rating Report.