Provident/MMA merger casts MMA chief Fearn’s role into doubt

James_Reader_Provident MMA

Provident managing director James Reader (pictured above) is to take control of a new company that is being created by merging his company with MMA’s UK insurance division.

Ultimate parent company Covéa has revealed its intention to combine motor insurer Provident and MMA Insurance through a Part VII transfer. The merged entity will be called Covéa Insurance.

The move has cast the future role of MMA Insurance chief executive Garry Fearn into doubt. An MMA spokesman said Fearn would remain at the company until the completion of the transfer, but declined to comment on whether he would take a new role at the combined entity or depart entirely.

Covéa expects the Part VII transfer to be complete before the end of 2012. The transfer is subject to the approval of the High Court, which will take into account the opinion of the FSA, among others.

The company said it confirmed its commitment to the product ranges, distribution channels and locations of Provident and MMA Insurance.

“We are confident that a combined organisation will create the optimal platform for growth, and will best enable us to capitalise on the significant strengths of both Provident and MMA to the benefit of our employees, customers and business partners,” joint chief executive of MMA Holdings UK Bernard Barrère said in a statement.

The merged entity will have one million customers, employ nearly 800 staff and generate revenue of more than £420m. Provident employs more than 400 staff, while MMA Insurance has more than 370. It is not yet clear whether job cuts will be made post merger.

Covéa bought Provident in April 2011. Since then, Provident and MMA Insurance have shared a common holding company – MMA Holdings UK – but remained separate businesses.