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Massow claims Zurich tried to ruin him

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Nicola York

Former IFA Ivan Massow claimed in court yesterday that his financial services business was wrecked by Zurich reneging on an agreement to sell protection insurance and mortgages to gay people.

Ivan Massow Consulting, which specialised in providing financial advice to gay customers, lost its customers and reputation which led to its collapse in 2003.

Massow claims his business collapsed soon after he entered into a franchise agreement with Zurich to make its insurance policies more accessible to gay people by offering them the same terms as heterosexual clients.

Zurich made a transitional loan to Massow Financial Services of £330,000 to cover the cost of relocating its office and staff training.

But a year later, IMC collapsed along with the deal and Zurich asked for its money back.

Massow made a counter claim alleging that the insurance firm had ruined his business.

He claims that it became clear Zurich was not going to change its policies and offer similar terms as heterosexuals received to homosexuals soon after he entered the partnership.

As a result, Massow says he decided to terminate the agreement and soon after his company folded and he lost millions.

At the high court in Bristol yesterday, Judge Mark Havelock-Allen QC said one of the reasons as to why Zurich teamed up with Massow was because the gay activist had run an advertising campaign highlighting the "unfair treatment" of gay people by Allied Dunbar, now part of the Zurich Group.

Zurich wanted the judge to deal with the dispute without trial but he refused although he called Massow's case "thin and lacks supporting detail".

Massow will now have to raise £330,000 and pay it into the court before the case will be allowed to go to trial.

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