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Zurich multi-tie picks ScotEq as its sole pension provider

Zurich Financial Services’ multi-tie distribution business launches next year and will be branded Openwork, with Scottish Equitable as sole pension provider.

The new business, as exclusively revealed by Money Marketing last
month, will absorb the Zurich Advice Network and launch with around
2,300 advisers in the second quarter of 2005.

Zurich spokesman Jon Atkins says 90 per cent of Zan’s salesforce of
2,500 are joining the new business. The firm had expected about 2,000
to join.

Openwork is looking to focus mainly on pensions and Scottish
Equitable will provide individual and group stakeholder, group
personal and occupational schemes, trustee investment plans, drawdown
products and s32s. Zan’s current offering of Allied Dunbar contracts
does not include individual or group stakeholder, group
money-purchase pensions or s32s. The Dunbar brand goes in the new
yearZurich will provide Openwork’s protection products and Zan’s
Sterling open architecture platform plus Seven Investment
Management’s multi-manager will provide its investment offering.

Openwork is aiming to be within 10 per cent of the cheapest providers
in all product areas.

Zurich will retain a 25 per cent stake in the business and advisers
will take the remaining 75 per cent through a franchise arrangement.

Zurich is dropping its brand from the business to aid a planned trade
sale or flotationwithin three to five years which it hopes will net
£300m.

Atkins says: “Feedback has been positive, with a 90 per cent take-up
rate so far, and it looks like we will easily exceed the anticipated
figure.”

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