Friday, 18 October 2013

Equity Insurance Partnerships bought by NMG

Equity Insurance Partnerships (EIP) has been sold to NMG Group (subject to regulatory approval), an international consulting and advisory group.

The sale of EIP had been expected since the change of ownership of its parent, Equity Insurance Group at the start of this year. EIP is a significant affinity broker with a number of motor manufacturer partnerships (including Renault, Honda and Mazda), as well as others with First Direct, Royal British Legion and Costco. 

One of the more interesting aspects of the purchase is that NMG currently has a major stake in iGO4, a specialist provider of insurance solutions for brands operating on the aggregators. The corporate press release mentions the "synergies" of the two businesses working closely together and it will be interesting to see what this means in practice. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks partner with Origen for financial advice...but only for private banking and business customers

Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks have announced a partnership with Origen Financial Services to provide financial advice for their business and private banking customers. 

Origen, a subsidiary of Aegon, will act as a "referral partner" for the two banks and its advice service will cover corporate and personal pensions, investments, protection and retirement planning. 

The service does not extend to retail banking customers of Yorkshire and Clydesdale. Until April 2013, the banks offered an "in-branch retail advice service" in partnership with AXA, but this ended with the closure of AXA's bancassurance arm. The banks have stated that they have no plans to replace AXA. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

FirstAssist re-brands as Cigna with a new focus on health?

FirstAssist Insurance Services has re-branded as Cigna Insurance Services and, at the same time, has announced "ambitious growth plans for the UK affinity market". 

FirstAssist has over 160 partnerships, but has traditionally been best known for its activity in the travel insurance sector where it has some significant partnerships including Halifax Bank, Sainsbury's and esure. 

It appears that Cigna now sees particular opportunities for affinity partners in providing low-cost health products (as an alternative to NHS or PMI provision) and we believe that this is where much of its sales and marketing effort will now be focused.