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Axa deal ties in Framlington’s stars until 2010

Axa’s 178m purchase of Framlington from HSBC sees the fund firm’s star managers – Nigel Thomas, George Luckraft and Roger Whiteoak – tied in until 2010 as part of the deal.

The firm will be rebranded as Axa Framlington and will operate as a stand-alone business from October.

Axa marketing director Simon Ellis says Framlington operates a fairly traditional distribution model but the deal with Axa will give it access to a wide distribution network.

Publishing half-year results last week, Axa says it is now well positioned for multi-ties due to successful distribution deals in the past year with Britannia, Millfield, Thinc Destini, National Australia Group and Barclays. It recently secured a place on Sesame’s multi-tie panel.

The results show a 14 per cent upswing in new UK life and savings business for the French insurer, with annual premium equ- ivalent business – comprising 10 per cent of single premiums plus annual premiums – rising to 264m in the six months to June 2005 from 234m last year. Axa Investment Managers saw new business rise by 20 per cent to 364m from 299m.

The company says the increase in business was driven by strong sales in the IFA channel, with APE sales up by 24 per cent, as well as a 32 per cent increase in unit-linked investment bonds to 98m from 74m.

Ellis says: “Over the next two or three months, the Framlington fund managers will be out on the stump talking positively about the changes. Axa is a multi-specialist business. We now own a range of businesses running different money in different ways.”

Chelsea Financial Services head of research Juliet Schooling says: “We are big supporters of Luckraft, Thomas and Whiteoak and are pleased they will remain with the group.”

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