Manulife arm sold

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Canada Life signalled its intention of remaining a player in the fast-changing insurance market yesterday with the purchase of Manulife's UK life operations.

The deal moves Canada Life up the rankings in size terms in a market likely to be increasingly dominated by big players.

The companies would not disclose the amount of money changing hands, but Manulife will bring Canada Life's new premium income up to £41m from £28m. Assets under management rise from £1.5bn to £2.6bn.

Canada Life's direct salesforce will increase from 340 to more than 750. A spokesman for the company said there were unlikely to be significant job losses although the two head offices would be merged.

The deal does not include Manulife's UK-based international investment operation.