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Cases cost Equitable 45m

Equitable Life has dropped its litigation against the remaining nine former directors in dispute with the mut- ual leaving policyholders to foot a 45m legal bill.

The agreement means the society will reimburse around 10m in legal fees to the nine directors on top of the estimated 35m cost of the failed lawsuits against a total of 15 former directors and auditors Ernst & Young.

Equitable Life chairman Vanni Treves says the outcome of the case, which he says will cost policyholders 75 each, is disappointing, but continuing would run the risk of heavier costs.

He says: “The risk of liti- gation is obvious, as are the potential costs. How- ever, having considered the best legal and other exp- ert advice available, we concluded that we had a dut to pursue the claims against the former directors while they were cost-effective.”

Equitable Members’ Action group chairman Paul Braithwaite says the group is considering pushing for an EG to try and oust Treves.

The society originally claimed 3.2bn from former directors and 2.5bn from Ernst & Young.

Treves says the board has received a number of offers for the mutual’s assets, with Prudential widely rumoured to be lead bidder for the 7bn annuity book.


Reits get an early start

Real estate investment trusts are set to be introduced early next year following the Chancellor’s surprise decision to introduce them in his pre-Budget report on Monday. Industry speculation had suggested the Chancellor might delay Reits because of concerns over loss of tax revenues but their inclusion in his statement came as good news to providers. […]

Appeal to their greed

Simon Rennie Director, Cassiobury Consultants, Watford, Hertfordshire

Threadneedle appoints new global equity investment specialist

Threadneedle has appointed Michael Seymour as global equity investment specialist.He will report to head of UK institutional business Madeline Forrester in the newly created role.Seymour is now responsible for representing Threadneedles global equity team to clients, consultants and the media.He joins from Deutsche Asset Management where he was client director and equity portfolio specialist.

Setting the Standard

Rod Woolsey GMG Financial Services, Cottenham, Cambridge


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