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Cost cutting sees Friends Life head of PR leave

Friends Life has made head of public relations Peter Timberlake redundant as part of its bid to cut costs across the group.

Timberlake joined the provider in May 2008, having previously held communications roles at Standard Life and Legal & General.

Money Marketing understands Friends Life has no plans to replace Timberlake and has appointed public relations firm MHP Communications to handle press enquiries, alongside a small number of internal PR staff.

Friends Life declined to comment and Timberlake was unavailable for comment.

In July last year, the provider announced it was closing its Basingstoke office and consolidating its Manchester offices by the end of 2012. It refuses to confirm how many jobs will be lost as a result of the move, which affects up to 300 staff.

A spokesman says: “Friends Life, like most businesses in the UK, is looking for efficiencies where possible. As you combine three businesses, it is inevitable there will be job changes.”

In November, the provider announced plans to outsource the IT and customer service functions for its heritage business to Diligenta.

Equity Partners UK managing director Kevin Tooze says: “Peter has a good understanding of the issues facing the industry. Friends Life’s loss will be someone else’s gain.”

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