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Pru plans to merge its broker and ScotAm sales teams

Prudential is understood to be seeking PIA app roval to merge its intermediary and Scottish Amicable&#39s sales teams.

ScotAm operates as Prudential&#39s IFA division and has a salesforce of about 115. Pru&#39s intermediary salesforce has about 175 staff.

ScotAm says the need to drive down distribution costs is responsible for the restructuring and it is reviewing many options.

Pru bought Scot Am for £2.9 bn in 1997.

Pru says merging the salesforces will not lead to the disappearance of either the ScotAm or Pru brands as both have a place in the IFA market.

A ScotAm spokesman says: “Effective distrib-ution is the driver for profitable and sustainable business in the IFA market. It is no surprise that we are appraising the way we operate.

“We are in dialogue with the regulator on a wide range of issues, of which distribution happens to be one.”

Pru is known to be the only bidder still in for Equitable and is understood to be keen to secure its bid as soon as possible. Industry estimates suggest it may have to put in as much as £5bn to plug the financial gap and Equit able&#39s business could be broken up.

European insurance group Eureko pulled out of the bidding process for Equitable Life this week.

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