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Portman open to merger interest

Staffordshire Building Soc-iety&#39s acquisition by Portman Building Society could become the blueprint for future purchases as Portman seeks continued growth.

Portman snapped up Staffordshire at the end of June. The deal is due to go before Staffordshire&#39s members at a special general meeting on September 22. Portman bought specialist lender Sun Bank from Sun Life of Canada in September 2001 for £95m and it is widely reckoned that it is only a matter of time before Portman chief executive Robert Sharpe strikes another deal.

However, Sharpe is seeking to play down his growing reputation for takeovers and is keen to stress that although he will talk to anyone interested in merging, he is not planning any aggressive moves. He says: “While I would talk to people if they came to see me, I am not out there looking and I am certainly not pounding the pavements.”

Staffordshire chief executive Bill Snaith says: “Robert has said that he sees this as a blueprint for the future. If building societies want to talk, he is happy to listen but he is not out for aggressive acquisitions. I would not be surprised, however, if we saw further acquisitions from the Portman.”


Bankhall poaches DBS training head

Bankhall has poached Misys executive Jackie Ison to become its director of training and technical support. Ison leaves her role as head of products and marketing for Misys subsidiary DBS to head up Bankhall&#39s training and product support services programme.

Clerical Medical buys in bulk

Clerical Medical has brought out a S32 bulk buy-out plan to take advantage of opportunities within the pension transfer market as a result of the trend for the winding up of final salary schemes. Clerical Medical says final salary scheme wind-ups are being driven by factors such as restructuring within companies, mergers and takeovers, management […]

Life offices face a distribution fight

Whatever the FSA may or may not decide on menus, disclosure and the rest, it is clear that new “distributor” models are already emerging. Although we have known for at least a year that American Express was interested in buying into distribution long before the Threadneedle deal, we now know it involves a wrap account […]

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Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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