Amicable invests in Dublin insurer

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SCOTTISH Amicable, the mutual life office, is investing about pounds 25m in a new Dublin-based life insurer that will seek business from Europe.

As reported in yesterday's Independent, Scottish Amicable's international operation will be headed by Paul Bradshaw, chief executive of J Rothschild International, part of J Rothschild Assurance. Scottish Amicable Europe will acquire the staff, premises and other business assets of JRI.

JRI, which is just over a year old, will start again, building up a separate business under David Beynon, the former managing director of Midland Bank Financial Services.

Scottish Amicable is a large shareholder in JRA and looks after the smaller company's administration. Roy Nicolson, ScotAm's managing director, and Sir Mark Weinberg, JRA's chairman, said the two companies remain on good terms and will continue to work closely together. JRA will subscribe for a 10 per cent stake in Scottish Amicable International Holdings, giving the new company initial capital of pounds 28m.

Sir Mark said JRA and ScotAm were sharing the costs of building up JRI and 'cloning' a second company.

While Scottish Amicable Europe will initially seek to capitalise on its parent's strong reputation among independent financial advisers, JRI will sell through the J Rothschild group's sales force and seek to establish banking links. The European Union's Third Life Directive, which comes into force in July, is expected to expand business opportunities.

Sir Mark remains keen to establish a 'vulture' operation to take over the running of inefficient and moribund life companies - the role for which he originally recruited Mr Beynon.