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Final whistle for ScotAm brand

The axe fell on Scottish Amicable last week with the completion of Prudential boss Mark Wood&#39s review of its UK businesses.

Wood, who joined Pru from Axa in June to overhaul its UK businesses, has ditched the 175-year-old ScotAm brand because it is thought to be no longer necessary.

ScotAm started out as a friendly society in 1826 and in 1996 it was facing pressure to demutualise.

After ScotAm abandoned a £1.9bn flotation, Pru bought the business for £2.9bn in June 1997, promising to retain the ScotAm brand and jobs.

It became the IFA division of the Pru. But in December 2000, Pru merged its intermediary salesforce with ScotAm, marking the first steps towards integration.

ScotAm entered the stakeholder market this year but the withdrawal of initial commission on regular-premium pensions to focus on Pru-branded annuities and bonds in August showed that ScotAm was losing favour with Pru. There have also been a number of high-profile management exits such as marketing director Gavin Stewart and group sales director John Cowan.

The two had been closely associated with previous chief executive Roy Nicholson, who retired at the end of 2000. He was replaced by Pru annuities head Kim Lerche-Thomsen in a surprise move at the time.

The brand will remain until summer 2002 and ScotAm will continue its sponsorship of the Barbarians tour until the end of the season.

Baronworth director Colin Jackson says: “This comes as little surprise because Scottish Amicable was never a strong brand. Pru spent a lot of money acquiring it and it is not a bad move to drop it now. They now need to expand their product range.”

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