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Did ISL closure pave way for sale?

SimplyBiz chairman Ken Davy says the closure of Bankhall’s Investment Strategies Limited network in March could be connected with rationalising the Skandia-owned business ahead of a sale.

Skandia paid 180m in 2002 for 80 per cent of Bankhall. Last month, Bankhall, which offers services to 8,300 RIs, was valued at 110m after seeing 70m of goodwill being written off. Sale speculation has been renewed by Old Mutual’s bid for Skandia, with some industry sources predicting that a sale of Bankhall could see other life offices taking stakes.

Davy says: “The announcement of Old Mutual’s interest throws a new light on the sudden closure of ISL in March but it is hard to know whe- ther Old Mutual would want to keep Bankhall for its dist- ribution or offload it.”

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