Royal London is to merge its newly acquired Scottish Provident International Life Assurance business with its Scottish Life International division, in order to compete "more aggressively in the international marketplace".
Scottish Life International chief executive David Kneeshaw has been named to head up a steering group to develop a new international strategy for Royal London, the company said in a statement, and is expected to issue a report as early as the end of next month.
The steering group will be comprised of people from both the Spila and SLI management teams.
Both SPILA and SLI are based on the Isle of Man, while Royal London Group, the UK’s largest mutual life and pensions company, is headquartered outside Manchester.
It is too early to say how many, if any, jobs would be affected by such a merger, Douglas Law, head of marketing at SLI, said. But because the two businesses are largely complementary – Spila is mostly UK-focused while Scottish Life is more international – and because the plan is to grow the newly combined entity, it is hoped few if any jobs would be lost.
About 250 people are employed by the two businesses, with slightly more at Spila.
Among the issues the steering group will deal with will be how the Spila and SLI headquarters on the Isle of Man may best be combined, Law said.
Once the steering group’s proposals have been approved, Kneeshaw will assume the role of chief executive of the newly combined international business, and will be responsible for implementing the plans.
John Deane, chief executive of Royal London’s intermediary division, said: “Our acquisition of Spila has added significant scale to Royal London’s international business. We have looked hard at how best to achieve our ambitions to provide an enhanced platform for profitable growth, and it was clear that there were likely to be considerable advantages. This view has been confirmed by more detailed work in recent weeks.”
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