Resolution to be Friends Life as Cowdery exits

Marion Dakers
SHARES in the insurance group Resolution slipped 5.92 cent yesterday as founder Clive Cowdery revealed he is stepping down at the end of the firm’s restructuring.

The London-listed firm, founded in 2008 to consolidate struggling insurers, also plans to change its name to Friends Life in honour of its biggest acquisition.

John Tiner, who helped found the company, is also stepping down from his non-executive post.

“The restructuring of the business is now complete. We have a sustainable business with a profitable base for future growth,” said chief executive Andy Briggs yesterday.

The firm posted a five per cent rise in new business to £204m for 2013, while operating profit before tax rose 59 per cent to £436m.

The company is working on a new US project, with its $600m (£361.7m) purchase of Lincoln Benefit set to close shortly, while Cowdery has reportedly set his sights on a similar vehicle aimed at European companies.

Resolution revealed yesterday that it had picked Schroders to manage £12.2bn of equity and multi-asset funds on behalf of its customers, and it plans to take £2.3bn of fixed income assets in-house to manage them.

The decision loses incumbent manager F&C more than a sixth of its assets under management.

Shares in F&C, which received a takeover offer from Bank of Montreal in January, fell 0.66 per cent to finish at 121.2p.