Phoenix finance boss leaves as it sees cash generation in line

 
Elizabeth Fournier
SHARES in insurance group Phoenix got a small fillip yesterday, after the company said cash generation for the year would be smack bang in the middle of its estimated range.

The firm, originally a Hugh Osmond vehicle, said it would generate around £800m in operating cash in 2011 – a £66m rise from last year’s figure.

It also announced that finance chief Jonathan Yates would leave after just 18 months at Phoenix, with deputy Paul Miles taking on the role while the board searches for a replacement.

Phoenix Group rose from the ashes of Pearl Group following a radical restructuring of the company, several years after it took over the closed-life fund business of Clive Cowdery’s Resolution Life.

Cowdery’s current vehicle, Resolution, called off takeover talks with Phoenix in late November after details of a potential deal were leaked. Phoenix is now in discussions with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners over an offer for the company.

Phoenix Group shares, which have fallen more than 17 per cent since the start of the year, regained 1.57 per cent in trading yesterday, closing at 517.5p.