End of an era as Clive Cowdery quits his Resolution

Resolution marked the end of a three-year restructuring programme yesterday with plans to change its name and part ways with founder Clive Cowdery.

The FTSE 100 company, which was set up in 2008 to consolidate the life insurance industry, said it will ask shareholders for permission to switch from Resolution to Friends Life when it holds its annual meeting in May.

It also revealed that Mr Cowdery and co-founder John Tiner will not stand for re-election as non-executive directors, effectively ending their direct association with the company.

Mr Cowdery, who oversaw deals for Friends Provident in 2009 as well as parts of Axa and Bupa a year later, is currently working on a new project to consolidate the US life industry and snapped up Lincoln Benefit Life for $600m (£361m) last year.

In a statement, he said: "Resolution has delivered on its targets, with further upside as the company continues to seek to secure maximum value from each part of the group."

Yesterday's news marked the end of an eventful few years at the group, which had been criticised by investors and regulators for using an offshore company, led by Mr Cowdery, to run key management functions.

This arrangement was ended in late 2012, and chief executive Andy Briggs and his team have since taken out £160m in costs from the company, which saw operating profits rise 59 per cent to £436m last year.

"We reached a significant turning point for the group in 2013 and are entering a new and exciting chapter," Mr Briggs said. "We operate in attractive growth markets, focused on managing legacy life and pension products, and capturing value in the fast-growing retirement provision market."

Overall, the value of new business rose 5 per cent to £204m, 30 per cent coming from the UK where it operates the Friends Life brand. Despite this, shares in the company fell heavily, closing down 22.1p at 351p.

Resolution said it also remained in talks to sell Lombard, its European wealth manager, and had also ended an agreement with F&C Asset Management to handle £14.5bn on its behalf.

F&C, which is currently in the process of being sold to the Bank of Montreal for £708m, lost the bulk of the mandate to rival Schroders, although £2.3bn will now be invested by Resolution's own Friends Life Investments. The news will come as a blow to those F&C shareholders – such as Standard Life Investments – who believe BoM should increase its bid.

Reflecting on Resolution's results, Eamonn Flanagan, an analyst at Shore Capital, said: "The issue for the group is that it now looks like any other open life company in the sector.

"We remain unconvinced that its new business offering is yet up to the standard of many of its peers."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower