British insurance takeover specialist Resolution Ltd
A 15-year agreement to outsource the back-office functions of Resolution's British life insurance unit to Diligentia, part of Tata Consulting, will deliver yearly cost savings of 143 million pounds by 2013, up from a previously-flagged 112 million, the company said on Wednesday.
Resolution, which buys British life insurers to merge them into a more profitable whole, also said banks and insurers in the euro zone had become more likely to sell unwanted businesses to raise capital and reduce debt, boosting prospects for alternative consolidation projects.
I guess our research and development and discussions with potential counterparties is reaching a stage now where we believe transactions may be becoming more proximate, Resolution Chief Executive John Tiner told reporters on a conference call.
Specific projects under consideration include a plan to buy bank-owned businesses with strong cashflows, such as long-term leasing companies, Tiner said, declining to give more detail.
Any European or U.S. deals would be carried out via separate investment vehicles so as to protect the proceeds of Resolution's project to consolidate British life insurers, Resolution said earlier this year.
Resolution shares were down 6 percent at 252 pence by 1320 GMT, against a 4.5 percent decline in the STOXX Europe 600 insurance share index <.SXIP> amid fresh concerns over the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
The outsourcing deal at Resolution's Friends Life business -- created from a merger of three acquired insurers including life insurer Friends Provident -- will result in 1,900 employees, nearly half the unit's workforce, transferring to Diligentia.
Resolution also said it would set up an in-house asset management business in the second half of 2012 which would initially reclaim 12 billion pounds of the 61 billion pounds in assets currently managed on its behalf by F&C
That will save about 10 million pounds of the 87 million in asset management fees paid out every year by Resolution, and the company will reclaim more of its assets as existing investment management mandates expire, it said.
Resolution had previously said it might buy a fund management business to invest the assets of its insurance businesses.
Friends Life had sales of 880 million pounds in the nine months to September 30, up from 705 million in the 2010 period.
(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Dan Lalor and David Holmes)