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Clerical takes stake in Assureweb

Clerical Medical is joining Norwich Union, Friends Provident and Scottish Widows as the fourth product provider to take a stake in Misys&#39 Assureweb portal.

Clerical is paying £3.9m for a 6 per cent share of the providers&#39 combined 40 per cent stake and up-front membership fees.

NU is understood to remain the biggest provider shareholder following the deal although the total provider shareholding remains at 40 per cent. NU, Friends and Widows together paid £9.2m for their stake in January.

Misys, which announces its annual results this week, keeps its 60 per cent stake and retains operational control of Assureweb.

A further 13 providers, including Scottish Equitable, AMP, Scottish Mutual, Axa Prudential, Standard Life and Skandia, have signed long-term membership agreements.

Misys has also signed up over 1,000 IFAs to its Mi-solution desktop software solution.

Clerical chief executive John Edwards says: “The direction indicated by reviews such as Sandler and Pickering is an environment of increasing pressure on margins and costs for both IFAs and providers.

“Clerical Medical&#39s investment into the Assureweb portal is tangible evidence of our commitment to driving costs down across the industry through the effective deployment of e-commerce capability.”

Assureweb chief executive officer Helen O&#39Dea says: “We are delighted at the early take-up of Mi-solution. Our technology strategy is gaining widespread IFA support as they move to adopt full end-to-end training.”

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