Over 2,000 staff at NatWest Insurance Services and Legal & General's general insurance arm are in the dark about job security following the £10.75 billion takeover deal that has brought them together, writes Andrew Pring.
The two insurance businesses – NatWest's broking and L&G's insuring – are to be integrated.
On Monday David Prosser, the former L&G chief executive who now heads the combined group's retail operations including insurance, said there will be just one claims centre for both operations.
He added that £130 million of savings must be found across the combined group by the end of 2002, and that duplicated head office functions must go.
NatWest Insurance Services, the country's sixth largest broker, does not use any of L&G's insurance products. As the NWIS panel comprises 18 insurers and L&G is the UK's 30th largest general insurer, with £114m of written premium last year, this may not be surprising.
Whether there will be changes in future is not clear. It seems unlikely if a decision this week serves as a pointer: as soon as the bid was announced, NWIS dropped the majority of L&G products from its matrix for independent financial advice – on the basis it would no longer be offering impartial guidance.
NWIS is headed by Steve Wells, who became managing director in 1992. Based at Bristol, he controls 1,400 staff. The main product areas are household, business, travel, and credit insurance.
L&G's general arm is headed by Paul Glen. Based in London, he controls 648 staff, working from six branch offices. Its main classes of business are household, private motor, and mortgage indemnity.