News - Networks/clubs
Mortgage Solutions | 06 Feb 2013 | 11:16Follow @VickyHartleyMS
Industry insiders have confirmed Friend's Life is touting for bidders for Sesame Bankhall Group as the insurer continues its broader cost-cutting and restructuring plans.
A Sesame Bankhall spokesman refused to comment on "speculation", however, Mortgage Solutions' sister-title Cover confirmed redundancies last week among senior management at Friend's Life including its strategy and new propositions director, Iain Mallon and Tim Fox, head of national accounts.
Friends Life reported 150 jobs were under threat last December, with 50 vacancies that would not be filled.
Barclays has been appointed to gauge interest in the market, with a management-led buy out thought to be a strategic option for the firm.
Sesame Bankhall Group's latest results, with its next results due out shortly in March, show the distribution group made £2.2m in trading profits in 2011, down from £5m in 2010. SBG placed over £26.1bn of mortgages in 2011, up £1.9bn on 2010.
The Sesame Bankhall Group operates three distribution brands, including its Appointed Representative network with 1,300 member firms, Bankhall, the support services brand used by 1,500 directly regulated advisers alongside its mortgage club, PMS.
Market commentators said the Group remains a solid proposition but with the heavy liabilities of a distributor of this size, any price could seem "too expensive."
Yesterday, John Cupis, the newly-announced deputy chairman of the AMI board confirmed the closure of Paymentshield's mortgage club yesterday with the transferral of several hundred of its members" to PMS.
Cupis said: ""As the UK's largest mortgage club, PMS is pleased to be using its strength and scale to offer the former Paymentshield members an excellent level of support and distribution, along with access to a wide range of additional services and benefits, including our broad panel of mortgage lenders and exclusive products."
Last month, Sesame Bankhall Group launched its general insurance proposition powered by Paymentshield's technology offering building and contents, landlords insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance from leading insurers including RSA, Aviva, Ageas and Allianz.
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