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Swiss Life tipped as frontrunner in Lombard race

Swiss Life has been tipped as the frontrunner in the bidding for Friends Provident’s wealth business Lombard.

Press reports suggest Swiss Life is offering £600m for the business, which is below the £700m which it is understood Friends was hoping to raise for the firm.

Other parties rumoured to be interested include private equity groups CVC and Hellman & Friedman, which owns Gartmore.

Both Friends Provident and Swiss Life refused to comment on the rumours, although Friends has previously said it hopes update the market on the future of Lombard at when it unveils its interim results in August.

News on the sale of IFA firm Pantheon is expected in the coming weeks, however further announcements on the sale of Friends’ stake in F&C is not likely to come until the third or fourth quarter of the year.

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