Partnership Assurance, owned by private equity group Cinven, has hired Citigate Dewe Rogerson as media speculation builds that the firm is planning a London float as early as this summer.
Citigate won the brief via a competitive pitch against a number of other City PR heavyweights, thought to include Finsbury and Brunswick.
The agency will focus on corporate positioning and profile-raising, as well as supporting the group’s financial reporting.
PRWeek understands that the capital markets ambitions of Partnership Assurance’s owners also form a central part of the brief.
Citigate will report to Jim Boyd, director of corporate affairs. It is understood that Michael Berkeley, executive director and head of the agency’s investor relations practice, will lead Citigate’s work on the account.
The firm provides ‘enhanced annuities’ – essentially insurance products for people whose life expectancy has been cut by illness.
The company has grown quickly since Cinven’s £160m buyout from fellow private equity firm Phoenix in 2008. The Sunday Times last year ranked the firm among the top 100 fastest growing private companies, noting that annual profits rose 210 per cent to £38m in 2012.
Citigate’s appointment is also understood to be in response to renewed regulatory interest in the sector after the FSA announced it is to conduct a wholesale review of annuities. The annuity market is estimated to be worth £11bn annually in the UK.
Cinven reportedly hired investment banks Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch last June to lead the listing plans.
Partnership Assurance declined to comment on Citigate’s appointment.