Prudential has been called in from the cold by mega-network Sesame which has abandoned threats made last year to drop the firm from its multi-tie plans and instead says it is the first player to have a place on its panel.
Pru has also been appointed to work on the design and delivery of Sesame's non-independent proposition. The other providers on the panel will be announced towards the end of this year although no decision has yet been made on the number of firms on the panel.
After Pru's critical-illness cover debacle last April, Sesame said unless the company's performance improved, it would not feature in its post-depolarisation plans.
FSA implementation of the new framework is pencilled in for October, with a six-month run-in period. Sesame plans to have its multi-tie operation running by the start of 2005.
Sesame has been working with Norwich Union and Pru on developing its multi-tie proposition but says the level of detail it is working at means that only one provider can be involved for work to proceed effectively.
Pru distribution director Chris Trainer says: “Sesame is responsible for a very large proportion of business. We assume that a large proportion of members will write premium business through its multi-tie arm.”
Sesame commercial director Martin Davis says: “To get Prudential to commit the amount of work and resources required for this project, we agreed to guarantee them a place on the panel. The last thing we will do will be name the rest of the panel.”