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Move to start up Dublin operation

Standard Life is set to bec-ome the latest life insurer to establish an offshore company with the launch of a Dublin operation.

The firm is carrying out a feasibility study into setting up a Dublin branch to complement its domestic company in Ireland. Standard Life Ireland marketing and product dev-elopment manager Brendan Barr says it is looking at Dublin’s International Fin-ancial Services Centre to sell offshore products, including bonds, back into the UK.

Standard Life Ireland sells pensions, savings, protection and investment products in the domestic market. Standard Life already markets products to continental Europe as well as having operations in China and India. It bought a small life company in Spain but there has been speculation that Standard Life may withdraw from this market.

A number of life insurers, including Scottish Equitable International and Axa Sun Life Isle of Man, have retrenched their offshore operations in recent years to focus on selling back into the UK.

Legal & General is investigating the viability of selling offshore products in the UK, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. This follows the news that MGM Assurance is opening an office in the IFSC in Dublin. It will market products to wealthy investors in Belgium, Austria and Germany.

Barr says: “It is early days and no decision has been taken yet but we are looking at whether to sell offshore products into the UK from Ireland.”

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