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Friends says Resolution deal still on as sales rise

Friends Provident insists its £8.4bn merger plans with Resolution are still on track although it admits it will consider any deal that offers better value to its shareholders.

Friends life and pensions chief executive Ben Gunn was keen to reinforce the firm’s commitment as it revealed interim profit growth of 7 per cent.

He says: “The boards of both companies remain absolutely committed to this deal. If anyone believes they can find additional value above what this merger creates for both sets of shareholders, then the board will have a fiduciary duty to consider that.”

UK life and pension sales rose by 12 per cent from £2.02bn to £2.25bn in the first half. Individual pension business rose by 85 per cent from £137m to £256m, which Gunn attributes to a focus on the single-premium market. Group pension sales were up by 11 per cent but investment business fell by 26 per cent from £364m to £268m with Friends admitting that it has been uncompetitive in “an aggressive market”.


MBSL acquires PMP creating combined network of 400 mortgage advisers

Mortgage Broking Services Ltd has acquired Professional Mortgage Partnerships Network Limited which will create a combined network of more than 400 mortgage advisers within 294 Appointed Representatives.The combined operation will operate under the MBSL brand.MBSL managing director Tony Corrigan will retain the same role within the enlarged operation while Bob Scott, chief executive of PMP, […]

Franklin Templeton launches three Sicav funds

Franklin Templeton Investments has announced the launch of three new Sicav funds within its Luxembourg-domiciled Franklin Templeton investment funds range.

Protection ‘heading towards daily pricing’ as competition hots up

Protection providers adjusted prices more times in July than in the entire second half of 2006, raising concerns that the industry is heading towards daily pricing.Legal & General protection marketing director Alan Ferguson says this indicates the fierceness of competition in the market.L&G had three reprices in July and LV= had two. However, Ferguson says […]

Axa fears life firms writing cheques to win new business

Axa says it is increasingly concerned that life companies are “just writing cheques to each other” to win new business.Executive director Paul Evans says that although the industry is seeing sustained growth in personal pension business, surrender levels remain stubbornly high, resulting in a lot of money simply washing round the industry.Axa’s first-half life and […]


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