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Supermart sweep in prospect as AMP buys iii for£52m

AMP has bought personal finance website Interactive International Investor in a deal worth£52m, making its second acquisition in two weeks.

The move follows AMP&#39s takeover of Towry Law for£75.7m, giving it 200 RIs in the UK.

AMP is offering 30p a share, making the deal worth£52.1m in share capital. Shares in iii closed on Monday at 25p, giving it a market capitalisation of£40.9m.

Its shares were at a high of 415p in early 2000. The site took£519,000 of transaction-related revenue in the first quarter of 2001.

AMP&#39s recently launched fund supermarket Ample will be integrated with iii but no decisions have yet been made on how to brand the combined offering.

iii product marketing director John Blowers was earlier recruited to head the Ample service. AMP says it will use iii as part of its multi-channel distribution strategy.

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “AMP will have synergies with Towry Law and now buying a major electronic platform, which it will merge with its fund supermarket, could be a very smart strategy for multi-channel distribution.”

AMP global director e-business Joanna Varley says: “iii is a strong strategic fit. This accelerates our plans for Ample. With Towry Law we have the business capability to give the right serv-ice to IFAs.”


Smithson Mason opens York office

Smithson Mason Group is expanding its operations in the North of England with the opening of a new division of Smithson Mason Financial Services in York.Initially seven staff will service existing and new clients based in York, North Yorkshire and Teeside. Andrew Keep will run the York office and joins the board of SMFS as […]

Norwich & Peterborough – Three Year Fixed Rate Bond

Wednesday, 4 July 2001.Type: High interest account.Minimum-maximum investment: £1,000-no maximum.Interest rates: 5.75 per cent gross a year, 5.6 per cent gross a month.Term: Three years.Offer period: Until further notice.Withdrawal penalties: If no notice given, 120 days&#39 loss of interest on amount withdrawn unless at least £1,000 remains in bond.Tel: 0845 3002511.

FSA wins award for clear letters

The FSA has been awarded a Clear English Service award from the Plain Language Commission for its correspondence. Letter-writers from its correspondence unit went on a nine-month coaching programme with the Plain Language Commission. The clarity, grammar and punctuation of more than 200 letters were assessed.The FSA deals with around 3,000 letters a year.

On the trail of commission strategy

The caricature of the commission-hungry IFA is an image that the industry sometimes struggles to dispel.Not only has Ron Sandler, head of the new Treasury review into retail investment, given notice of his intention to examine what he has described as the “ambiguities” inherent in distribution, but the subject of commission is used repeatedly to […]


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