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Sesame is set for third shift in year

Sesame members have reacted angrily to the prospect that they could be moved under a third parent group in less a year if the proposed merger of Friends Provident and Resolution goes ahead.

Friends only acquired the support services provider from Misys in March in a £90m deal and regulatory approval was given in June. That deal ended two years of uncertainty after Misys publicly stated Sesame was not core to its business and was up for sale.

Members say they were not informed of the Resolution takeover talks and are worried about their independent status.

Routen Chaplin Financial Services director John Gilbert says: “I believe that the takeover by Friends Provident had a negative impact on my status and that is further compounded by this latest news. I am against what Resolution has been doing by buying up closed books and making it difficult for policyholders to leave.”

Virtue Financial IFA John Blackwood says he is surprised at the speed of the deal and questions the motives of Resolution. He says: “Resolution’s strategy seems to be about making a quick profit by buying up other people’s closed books – one would have guessed this is to make more profit.

“I would rather be owned by Friends Provident than Resolution as I imagine they will have more of our interests at heart.”

Shropshire Independent Financial Services principal Rosemary Heaversedge says: “I guess if we can keep the name and profile of Sesame it will not be too bad but I do not want subsumed by a huge life company.”

Sesame spokesman Jared Aitken says: “As the two companies have only announced that they are in discussions, and no deal has been done, it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this time.”

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