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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Friends Provident to retain wealth management business

Nine months after putting its wealth management business up for sale, Friends Provident CEO Trevor Matthews has announced the decision to retain and develop the business.

Friends had intended to dispose of its interests in Lombard and F&C Asset Management after its plans to merge with Resolution Life were scuppered late last year.

Swiss Life is reported to have shown an interest in acquiring Lombard, however, its offer is understood to be well below the £400m by Friends in 2005. Friends will now distribute its 52% stake in F&C to Friends Provident shareholders and is expected to complete mid-2009.

Sales at Friends’ international divisions increased 29% during the nine months to September, but the UK saw a 24% fall, as the company withdrew from some markets to focus on its protection and group pensions business.