Friends Life puts another £500m into infrastructure loans

CraneInsurance and pensions provider Friends Life has awarded a £500 million (€590 million) infrastructure mandate to US-based MetLife Investment Management. The deal follows the firm's decision in July to award a £500 million commercial real estate loan mandate to Pricoa Mortgage Capital, part of Pramerica Investment Management. Friends Life says the infrastructure assets will be UK-based, senior secured, long term loans, which it deems an “attractive alternative credit asset”. The firm is allocating the money from its annuity funds. Friends Life has previously made direct investments in infrastructure loans. In April, it agreed a £75 million loan facility with energy firm Drax Group that was underpinned by a guarantee by the UK Treasury issued under the Infrastructure UK Guarantee Scheme. “Infrastructure loans fulfil our desire for increased diversification of assets within the annuity book, while facilitating further investment into current UK development opportunities,” says Mark Versey, chief investment officer at Friends Life. MetLife Investment Management is the asset management arm of insurance firm MetLife. ©2013 funds europe

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