Monday, December 13, 2010

Snorkel to Resolution

Interesting to catch up on news after snorkeling:

©2010 Am Ang Zhang

The Independent:
By James Moore, Deputy Business Editor
Saturday, 16 October 2010

Resolution, the Guernsey-based company that wants to create a British "super-insurer", added another string to its bow yesterday with the purchase of Bupa's income protection, life assurance and critical illness cover business for £165m.

The firms are also looking at ways in which they can sell each other's offerings.
Bupa said the decision to sell the operation, which trades as Bupa Healthcare, was part of a decision to refocus strategically on healthcare products and services. As a provident association, Bupa is owned by its policyholders.

……Resolution was founded and is headed by Clive Cowdery, the entrepreneur who is a specialist in the field, although he has kept a relatively low profile recently with John Tiner, a former head of the Financial Services Authority, serving as the company's front man.

So I look up John Tiner:

The Independent:
By James Moore
Friday, 25 June 2010

So why's he in the news?
Well, since stepping down as chief executive of the Financial Services Authority he has been one of Clive Cowdery's bag carriers at Resolution, the Guernsey-based company that wants to create a UK super-insurer. Yesterday it pulled off its second deal and it will now be combining the UK business of French insurer AXA with Friends Provident, having bought the former for £2.75b.
When you say bag carrier...
Well yes, we're being a big rude there. Mr Tiner's actual title is chief executive of Resolution. That sounds impressive, but it's Mr Cowdery who runs the show. Mr Tiner has, however, been acting as the front man for some time now. He's always been a bit of a flash so-and-so, though, and it never hurts them to be brought down a peg or two.
Flash, an ex-regulator?
Yes, we know it might sound strange, but it's true. While running the Financial Services Authority Mr Tiner had a Porsche with the registration T1ner. And there was something of a rumpus when it emerged that his leaving do cost more than £20,000 when he quit the City watchdog.
Oh dear, is he that bad?
Well, he's hyper-confident, some would say over-confident. He's a Leeds United fan and his fondness for motoring has led him to come unstuck at least once – with a drink driving conviction. Mr Tiner styled himself as a crusader for the consumer at the FSA and is responsible for a shake-up in insurance regulation that still has much of the industry's great and good shaking their heads.
So a gamekeeper turned poacher?
Quite. MrTiner, who started out at the collapsed accountancy firm Arthur Anderson, was being very coy about a notable sting in the tail of yesterday's deal – the inevitable job losses.
Oh dear.
Oh dear indeed. There will be more to come. The Resolution team – who have a management contract that gives them 10 per cent of the upside from the deals they're busily doing – are not done yet. They've ambitions to nearly double the size of their insurance operations.

Arthur Anderson again? Remember Enron?

I think I will go back to snorkeling!
©2010 Am Ang Zhang


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