Phoenix Group has purchased a portfolio of equity release mortgages from Just Retirement Limited, part of FTSE 250 retirement specialist Just Group plc, to the value of circa £300m.

In providing funding for the portfolio, Phoenix has secured the long-term retirement plans put in place by the borrowers, aged 55-plus, ensuring they are able to access the equity in their family home without the need to move.

Customers will not need to take any action as their mortgage will not change.

The acquisition was led by the team in Phoenix’s Retirement Solutions business which specialises in equity release and bulk purchase annuities.

It is headed up by its managing director Tom Ground, who has been driving forward the strategy in these markets.

Phoenix has been active in the equity release market since 2016, and at the end of June 2021 about a third of its £10.7bn diversified illiquid asset portfolio comprised equity release mortgages with an average AA rating.

Andy Curran, chief executive of savings and retirement for UK and Europe at Phoenix Group, said: “Equity release is an important option for many people when it comes to meeting their financial planning needs later in life.

“It is a growing market that we fully support and know well, Phoenix have been active as a funder in the market since 2016.

“We’re delighted to have acquired this portfolio and to be securing the retirement plans for more borrowers.

“This is a testament to the strength and expertise of our Retirement Solutions team led by Tom Ground and you should expect to see more activity from us in the equity release space in the coming months and years.

“This purchase is consistent with our Group vision of helping people on their journey to and through retirement.

“Alongside pension savings, equity release is a valuable part of that toolkit for a growing number of people.

“This portfolio purchase is also supportive of our strategy to grow our bulk purchase annuity business.”