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Matthews says Friends will stick with Sesame

There is no question of Friends Provident disposing of Sesame, the insurer’s chief executive officer Trevor Matthews made clear as he took up his new role today.

In his first interview since taking over as chief executive, Matthews, who joins from Standard Life, says Sesame remains a key part of Friends’ strategy.

He says: “The investment in Sesame was made to get a financial return and I believe that is what is happening, but it also allows us to gain insight into what is happening in the marketplace, which is continually changing and evolving.

“There is no question of disposing of it – it has a very important role in our future.”

Matthews insists Friends will not be looking at mergers with other life offices.

He adds: “Friends has a very strong future as an independent organisation.”

Matthews also confirms that Friends Provident is not looking at a return to the wrap market in the short term.

He says: “The decision to withdraw from the wrap market made a lot of sense to Friends. It is not at the top of the list at the moment, but we would never say never, it is hard to predict where we might be in five years time. We will have to see how the market develops.”

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