Liverpool Victoria threat to Lloyd's

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The Independent Online
Liverpool Victoria, the largest friendly society in the UK, is considering plans to set up an insurance company to help Frizzell, the broker and financial services company it bought in February, place its domestic insurance business.

The plan now being considered could mean Frizzell giving notice to the Lloyd's syndicate with which it currently places more than pounds 100m of business.

However, Liverpool Victoria said yesterdayit would discuss all its options carefully with Lloyd's before any final decision was made. The aim of the discussions will be to avoid undue alarm being caused to the syndicate by any sudden loss of business. Talks are set to take place with Lloyd's shortly after the purchase of Frizzell clears its final regulatory hurdles next week.

Frizzell, based in Bournemouth, brokers household and motor cover for about 600,000 policyholders.

In the past five years the company, set up as a family business in 1923, has expanded into a number of other areas, including banking and independent financial advice. It also targets specialist affinity groups, especially white-collar trade unions.

In November 1992 the Frizzell family sold the entire group to Marsh McLennan, the US insurance broker and investment manager, for about pounds 107m. Liverpool Victoria's purchase of Frizzell cost pounds 188m.

Liverpool Victoria, founded in 1843, has a 1,500-strong sales force and more than a million clients. It manages pounds 3.5bn of investors' funds.

Under its chief executive, Roy Hurley, the society, which specialises in traditional insurance, pensions and savings policies, has recently targeted women, often seen by the industry as less likely to start their own personal pensions.

Although the bulk of its savers are traditionally from working-class communities, serviced by collectors who call on them every month, the society plans to use its acquisition of Frizzell to position itself more squarely in the higher-income bracket.

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