Gowling WLG advises Ellipse on innovative life assurance product

20 May 2016

Gowling WLG's Pensions and Benefits team has assisted internet-based group risk insurer, Ellipse, to launch a new Excepted Group Life Assurance product. 

The team was led by principal associate Kevin Gude. Ellipse contacted Gowling WLG to advise on the structuring of the new product and the trust that is an integral part of the arrangement.

Ellipse developed its product in partnership with a third party professional trustee, Pitmans Trustees Limited (PTL). PTL recommended Gowling WLG for its expertise in the risk benefits area to review their trust documentation, advise Ellipse on statutory and technical compliance and provide them with additional commercial insight into the wider market's approach to the provision of excepted cover.

Principal associate, Kevin Gude, said: "We're thrilled to have advised Ellipse on such an innovative and novel approach to excepted life assurance. Ellipse had committed to launching the product in April, so we faced a challenging deadline to provide the required advice and research into the market, but we hit the deadline and that allowed Ellipse to launch on time. It was a real endorsement of our abilities that PTL were quick to recommend us as Ellipse's advisers, and we hope we'll be able to work with them both in the future." 

The Ellipse Life Trust is a novel concept in that it provides Ellipse's corporate clients with a packaged product that includes a ready-to-use discretionary trust deed and the services of PTL as third party professional trustee. By establishing a new trust for each employer (or group of employers), the Ellipse Life Trust releases employers from the otherwise necessary obligation to identify, appoint and maintain a separate trustee board and for those trustees to take active decisions in respect of the provision of benefits on the death of an employee.

It also ensures quicker payments to beneficiaries, reduced legal and tax risk from an appropriately worded trust and less administration at point of claim.

Ellipse's John Ritchie added: "The Excepted Life Trust has been an important new product initiative for us, as we respond to growing demand from our customers for excepted group life policies. We are grateful for the advice and expertise provided by the team at Gowling WLG in helping us design a simple, practical solution which we can confidently offer to our customers."

Gowling WLG's Pensions and Benefits team acts for the full spectrum of corporate clients, including pension managers, pension fund chairs, independent trustees, employers' HRDs and FDs, insurers, benefit consultants and statutory bodies. With more than 40 dedicated pensions lawyers, including 11 partners and several specialist sub-teams, we offer a tailored and bespoke service to serve our clients' requirements.

In addition to Ellipse, other clients include Rothesay Life, Thales UK Pension Scheme, the Pension Protection Fund, NFU Mutual, Rolex, Twentieth Century Fox Film Pension Scheme and many more.


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