Luxembourg-based Lombard International, owned by Friends Provident, is to target the Swiss and Germa...
Luxembourg-based Lombard International, owned by Friends Provident, is to target the Swiss and German markets for expansion.
This comes after it reported growth of 10.8% in new business in the first half of the year. Remarking on the figures, Rocco Sepe, managing director of Friends Provident International (FPI), said Lombard had not attracted as much business from Switzerland as it would have liked.
Sepe added that Lombard had developed a new product range for the German market and is trying to expand into Mexico and Asia by distributing via private banks.
He added that much of Lombard's growth in business came from Belgium, the UK and expatriate investors in southern Europe.
The single premium business of Lombard, which is a subsidiary of FPI, had reached £350m by the end of June 2005, with the vast majority of sales coming through European private banks. The profit margin for Lombard was 20% in the first half of 2005 compared to 25% for FPI.
Sepe said Lombard had benefited from the implementation of the European Union Savings Tax Directive on 1 July 2005.
It has gained business from private banks, he added, because life insurance policies are not covered by the directive, whereas bank deposits are caught and subject to disclosure or the 15% withholding tax.
New FPI business increased by 24.9% in the first half of 2005 to reach £45m. To seek to increase new business from the UK, FPI has teamed up with fund supermarket Selestia. This will offer access to Selestia's platform via FPI's Isle of Man portfolio bond, Reserve.
Paul Tunnicliffe, director of international operations at FPI, said the tie up will provide investors with a wider choice of funds and use of Selestia's asset allocation tool. Selestia has more than 700 funds available from 57 asset managers.
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