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Cofunds says NU faces integration challenge

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Leah Milner
Cofunds claims Norwich Union faces a challenging time in integrating its wrap with Scottish Friendly's back-office systems.

NU recently said it was outsourcing its wrap to Scottish Friendly, which also provides back-office support for Nuc- leus. Cofunds marketing and proposition director Alistair Conway says the problems in integrating the Skandia and Selestia platforms show how difficult the move could be.

He says: "One can only imagine that similar difficulties will fall upon Scottish Friendly and NU over the next 12 to 18 months. The idea that a whole host of issues that NU could not resolve are now going to be dealt with by Scottish Friendly will only distract them from the support they give Nucleus.

"If the might of NU cannot get it right, then burdening Scottish Friendly with the challenge is interesting."

Nucleus chief executive David Ferguson says he is confident that Scottish Friendly would not have taken on the NU contract if it could not cope with it.

Managing director of NU's wrap Lifetime Toby Strauss says: "This is not an integration, it is a transfer so there will not be the same knitting-together difficulties of merging two systems.

"We could have bought the Bravura software ourselves but felt the work that Scottish Friendly has already done using the software made it a quicker and safer route."

Scottish Friendly chief executive Fiona McBain says: "Our service is multi-award-winning and we have demonstrated our ability to cope seamlessly with large-scale business transfers in the takeover last year of Scottish Legal Life, which more than doubled the number of pol- icies we dealt with and saw no deterioration in service."

Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman says he is actively seeking to recruit advisers that are on the Norwich Union platform.

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