James Moore: Resolution tried to be a beast but settled for the crumbs
Outlook So it's exit stage west for Clive Cowdery and his mini-me John Tiner. The shiny-suited salesman and his gamekeeper-turned-poacher pal (he used to run the financial watchdog) have bid goodbye to the beast they created. Beast? Well that's what it was supposed to be anyway. Mr Cowdery convinced some of the City's top institutions he could create a £10bn super-insurer using Friends Provident as his platform.
They lapped up his spiel, even to the extent of waving through the eye-popping fees charged by his Guernsey-based management company, and Friends was his.
Let's see what this chappie can do for us!
That's when things got complicated. At various times his Resolution was linked to follow-up deals with Prudential and Aviva. Gobbling up the UK business of either would have created a titan, but they weren't playing. The City was happy for Mr Cowdery and Mr Tiner to take the crumbs from the table but not the family silver. Oh no.
Those crumbs included the UK life business of Axa followed by Bupa Health Assurance in 2011 after which Resolution said its UK life project was complete, while bemoaning the lack of opportunities.
Which now leaves us with Friends Life, in other words Friends Provident with a couple of bits added and a couple of bits taken away. It's cut some costs, and claims to be fighting fit. But as Shore Capital's Eamonn Flanagan has pointed out, what you have here is basically a bog-standard life insurer. One that has been making promises about progressive dividend policies and new-business generation that it might find tough to keep.
As for Mr Cowdery, he's off to the States to see if he can work a similar trick where there are still a lot of zombie life insurers. Who knows, he might even be able to find some brass among the muck over there.
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 4 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Sepp Blatter resigns: FBI are investigating outgoing Fifa president, claims report
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...
£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...
£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...