AXA agrees �2.75bn sale of life businesses

INSURANCE group AXA today confirmed the sale part of its UK life business to the Resolution group, owner of rival brand Friends Provident, in a deal valued at �2.75billion.

INSURANCE group AXA today confirmed the sale part of its UK life business to the Resolution group, owner of rival brand Friends Provident, in a deal valued at �2.75billion.

The sale includes AXA UK’s traditional life and pensions businesses, along with its IFA (independent financial adviser) and group pensions business, but AXA plans to retain and develop its wealth management business.

The group’s other UK businesses, including its general insurance arm which has more than 1,000 employees at the AXA offices in Civic Drive, Ipswich, and its healthcare insurance and Blufin businesses, are not affected by the deal.

Around 2,000 AXA staff at its life and pensions arm, based in Bristol, Coventry and Basingstoke will transfer to Friends Provident, with a risk of job losses to follow.


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AXA UK chief executive Nicolas Moreau said today: “This is a significant step in AXA UK’s overall growth strategy that builds on the market leading position that we have developed in our wealth management business.

“The UK life industry is changing fast. Regulatory and market changes will reshape the structure of the UK life industry which is why we are taking steps actively to refocus and shape our own future.

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“AXA UK has all the ingredients for future success - a clear strategy, a compelling brand, attractive products, enhanced customer service and strong capital management – and I am confident that this will position us well to grow our UK wealth management, general insurance, healthcare insurance and Bluefin businesses over the coming years.”

Trevor Matthews, chief executive of Friends Provident, added: “Today’s landmark deal combines two major players in the UK life and pensions market, both of which have a rich heritage.

“There is a good operational fit between both organisations. Bringing them together will make us one of the market leaders in our core businesses of protection and corporate pensions in the UK.

“This combined group will have a substantial offering in protection and corporate pensions products, and a real opportunity to deliver cost efficiencies allowing us to compete more effectively.”

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