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Daily Insurance Industry News
Sunday 26th of May 2019
November 15, 2007

Friends Provident: sale or break-up?

by Gill Montia

Story link: Friends Provident: sale or break-up?

Friends Provident, the life and pensions company that recently failed in its attempt to merge with closed life funds administrator Resolution, is undertaking a strategic review.

The company’s chief executive, Philip Moore, resigned this week in the face of criticism over his handling of the merger plans.

These were scuppered once Resolution became the centre of a bidding war between Standard Life and Pearl Group.

Sir Adrian Montague, chairman of Friend’s Provident, is reported as saying that he has “ruled nothing in and nothing out”.

He has confirmed that if the company received an approach it would have to take it seriously but believes that an independent future is possible and that the Friends Provident brand should remain intact.

A merger with Resolution would have provided Friends Provident with capital to expand the business.

However, Sir Adrian has confirmed that there is almost £1 billion of surplus capital in the business and that it will suspend plans to raise £500 million until the review is completed.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that Friend Provident will be broken up in a sale.

The group’s Lombard business (which provides tax-efficient services for high net worth individuals) and its 51% share in F&C, the fund manager, are both seen as prime assets.

 

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