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Friends Ivory & Sime plans Isis switch

The Friends Ivory & Sime brand name will disappear by 2003 as the company seeks to forge a new identity after acquiring the asset management arm of Royal & Sun Alliance.

FIS, which was created after parent Friends Provident bought Ivory & Sime in 1998, is to replace its name with its retail brand Isis after research found that investors and IFAs regard FIS as lacking clarity.

The move, which will also see RSAI rebranded in the same way, comes after FIS launched a range of Isis-branded Oeics six months ago which head of sales John Yule says have sold strongly without having the support of the main brand.

The company says it has yet to approach the boards of its investment trusts – which are all branded FIS – with the rebranding idea. Yule believes some may want to retain the FIS name as many of shareholders perceive the brand positively.

He says: “We have done a lot of research suggesting we have to make the brand more clear and I think people saw FIS as something of a compromise. With the recent merger, it seemed like the right time to agree on a change.”

Simpsons of Brighton IFA partner Andy Merricks says: “It could be a good move. Isis is gradually becoming more recognised and the removal of the Friends Provident link from the name is not a bad idea at the moment.”

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