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&#39Permanent part of Equitable deal&#39

Protection specialist Permanent insists it will be part of the Equitable Life pack-age when the life office strikes a deal with a suitor later this year.

The insurer says it exp-ects to be sold as a comp-lete package along with Equit-able Life.

Permanent says it is business as usual despite the cloud looming over Equitable following its defeat in the House of Lords over guaranteed annuities.

Permanent has £300m in assets and has launched a number of new products over the last year.

Given the hefty price of £2m that Abbey National has reportedly paid for bigger protection specialist Scottish Provident, industry sources believe players such as Permanent could become increasingly valuable.

None of the bigger players believed to be looking to buy Equitable, such as CGNU and the Prudential, will comment on what their plans for Permanent would be if their bids were successful. They say confidentiality agreements have been signed with Equitable.

Permanent sales and marketing manager Rod Macdonald says: “Hopefully, who- ever buys Equitable will look at Permanent as a protection specialist and decide from there. There is nothing that is decided yet. We will go wherever they go.”

Insurance analyst Cazalet Financial Consulting principle Ned Cazalet says: “It will be a useful addition to whoever ends up with Equitable Life. It has the potential for strong growth but is a very small player at this point.”

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