Article date: 26 January 2001
As part of its strategy to reduce its product range from over300 to 65 and streamline its support for products and technology,Norwich Union is to withdraw PLANet, Connectivity* andDownstream.
The move begins in June and will last around a year. It willaffect about 100 intermediaries, but has no impact on commercialtransactions.
PLANet arrangements were put in place several years ago toenable intermediaries specialising in commercial insurance productsto write additional personal lines business. As part of this,Norwich Union currently has around 100 staff based inintermediaries' offices. The insurer hopes that these staff willall be found alternative roles.
Connectivity and Downstream are smaller initiatives also basedaround facilities within intermediaries' offices.
According to intermediary business director Ken Wallace, thearrangements no longer make financial sense. He said: "Originally,these facilities were set up at a time when EDI was in its infancyand there were few alternatives. Today, 60 per cent of NorwichUnion's business is via EDI and initiatives such as i2i-link willincrease this even further. Bespoke IT systems and manual datainput for small numbers of intermediaries are no longerviable."
"We are focusing our efforts on a single suite of market-leadingproducts, supported by leading-edge IT platforms. We cannot committo continuing to support a huge range of tailored products andsystems."
He added that: "Intermediaries will have a number of options toreplace these arrangements. We value our relationships with theseintermediaries and will be having discussions with each oneindividually, to see which option is most appropriate for theirneeds and working with them to make the transition as smooth aspossible."
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Media contact: Liz Nicholson - Norwich Union press officeon 01603 688263
Notes to Editors
*personal lines and commercial motor only.
CGU and Norwich Union merged on 30 May to create CGNU plc - theworld's sixth largest insurer, the UK's largest insurance group andone of the top five life insurers in Europe, with substantialpositions in other markets around the world.
CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings,general insurance and asset management with world-wide premiumincome and retail investment sales of £26 billion and assets undermanagement of more than £200 billion.
The combined life and pensions, general insurance and retailfund businesses in the UK operate under the Norwich Union brand,while the institutional business operates under the Morley FundManagement brand.