Liverpool Victoria has ended speculation over the future of Equitable Life's specialist protection subsidiary Permanent Insurance by snapping it up in a Â£150m deal.
Since the decision by Permanent's parent company to close its doors to new business last month, the future of the protection provider has been unclear.
The Â£150m deal with Liverpool Vic gives the friendly society a stake in the protection market. The move will boost Liverpool Vic's marg inal presence in the IFA market. Its main product sold through IFAs is a with-profits bond.
The deal, pending regulatory approval, will result in the Permanent name being ret ained and no loss of jobs.
A Liverpool Vic spokesman says the friendly society is excited by the purchase bec ause it increases its exposure to the IFA market.
Chief executive Malcolm Berryman says: “We have identified the IFA protection market as being at the heart of our growth plans in the UK life sector and we believe Permanent will play an important role in accelerating this strategy.”
Permanent managing director Andrew Chapman says: “The acquisition represents a very positive outcome for both our customers and our staff and is an excellent opportunity for Permanent to develop in the future with a financially strong parent.”
IFA Portfolio Insurance Consultancy principal Brian Lentz says: “I am surprised. Liverpool Victoria has always been seen as an industrial branch. They clearly want to get into the IFA market. Time will tell how successful they are.”
The friendly society has been on the acquisition trail recently, with an unsuccessfully bid for Scottish Provident last September. ScotProv was eventually snapped up by Abbey National.