Insurance pioneer Clive Cowdery prepares £580m bid for US firm

CLIVE Cowdery, the man who revolutionised the UK insurance industry when he founded Resolution in 2004, is looking to buy a US insurer in a deal worth $500-900m (£320-583m).

Cowdery is thought to have tabled an offer for Lincoln Benefit Life, a subsidiary of US financial services group Allstate. He is competing against a joint bid from private equity companies TPG Capital and JC Flowers for the asset, which would represent his first incursion into the US market.

Contrary to previous reports, it is understood that his existing FTSE 100 Resolution business is not involved in this bid and Cowdery is pursuing it in a personal capacity.

Cowdery sold Resolution Mk.1, which bought closed-book life insurers and combined them into a more profitable whole, in 2008. But an attempt to repeat the trick with a second vehicle, also called Resolution, has struggled to provide the same returns to investors.