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NU seeking to fund 50% growth in market share

Norwich Union is looking to raise £1.7bn through the securitisation of its equity release and protection books to fund a growth in market share of over 50 per cent.

Speaking at an analyst&#39s conference, NU chief executive Gary Withers said he expects the UK life and pension industry to grow by 25 per cent by 2007 and believes NU will exceed this by growing new business by 31 per cent over the same period.

Expansion is expected to come predominantly in 2006 and 2007, with growth of 5 to 7 per cent anticipated next year.

This would drive NU&#39s market share up from 12 per cent to between 15 and 20 per cent over the next three years.

Withers also suggested the group&#39s increased focus on technology and offshoring a third of its customer services resource to India will help cut costs by £130m a year by 2007.

He expects over 70 per cent of new business to be written electronically by 2007, up from around 20 per cent at present. Its staff head count in India is set to rise from 450 to 1,300 by the end of 2005.

NU is also set to offer new business tracking, online valuations and ebilling for group pension business from the start of next year.

Business development director Stephen Mann says: “If you look at rolling 12-month APEs, the total life and pension market is still under where we were at the end of 2002. Pension simplification will give advisers an opportunity to revisit their clients&#39 portfolios and we expect to benefit from a flight to quality.”


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