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Halifax share deal for Equitable salesforce

Equitable Life is offering its salesforce share options with Halifax to stop an exodus of staff to IFAs, networks and other salesforces.

The salesforce were last week called to a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in London, where they were told they had a positive future as part of the Halifax.

The salesforce has been a prime target for networks and rival salesforces since Equitable closed to new business last December.

St James&#39s Place Capital, also owned by Halifax, had said it would cherrypick a number of the top achievers and Allied Dunbar has also been in the frame as a likely home for some ex-Equitable staff.

IFA networks and firms have been keen to snap up the salesforce. Bankhall and Lighthouse have had meetings with Equitable staff.

All Equitable&#39s sales team will get a bonus in their salary on February 28 and new contracts with the Halifax, to be signed by March 1.

The share options have a three-year lock-in period and are dependent on meeting new business targets. The final £250m of Halifax&#39s £1bn deal will be payable to Equitable in 2004 if the salesforce meets these targets.

Industry sources say many of the salesforce will not be attracted by Halifax&#39s proposition and having to sell the bank&#39s products, which they see as a lower market brand than Equitable.

Equitable spokesman Alistair Dunbar says: “The Equitable salesforce has proved itself to be a very effective team and was a key attraction in the Halifax deal.

“Measures are in place to encourage them to stay together as a team.”

l Equitable inquiry, p12

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