£62m Suffolk Life sale approved

FINANCIAL industry giant Legal & General today said that its offer to acquire Ipswich personal pension success story Suffolk Life had received the backing of the Ipswich company's board.

Grant Sherlock

FINANCIAL industry giant Legal & General today said that its offer to acquire Ipswich personal pension success story Suffolk Life had received the backing of the Ipswich company's board.

Legal & General said its £62million offer had received more than 90 per cent acceptance from the Suffolk Life board and other shareholders.

The sale has also received the consent of the Financial Services Authority.

That meant the offer was considered as “unconditional” and would be closed today.

Under the deal, Suffolk Life employees will join Legal & General on their existing terms and conditions.

Most Read

They will continue to work from their current offices in Princes Street, Ipswich, which Legal & General said it would retain as one of its strategic UK operations for Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) business.

Henry Catchpole, Suffolk Life chief executive, said: “Today is a landmark day for Suffolk Life, as one of the UK's leading providers and administrators of SIPPs we pride ourselves on providing the very highest levels of service to advisers and their clients.

“The SIPP market as a whole now has assets under administration of £50 billion, having grown at over 25 per cent during 2007.

“2008 looks to be just as exciting. With this growth comes a concomitant need to invest in distribution, process and IT.

“Becoming part of Legal & General will enable us to develop at an accelerated rate and is in the best interests of our advisers, their clients and of course all our staff.”

Simon Pistell, Legal & General's managing director for individual wealth said: "I am pleased to welcome our new employees to Legal & General.

“Our company has been very successful over the past two years in marketing our new generation of low cost SIPPs aimed at the growing number of mass affluent investors in the UK.

“However, by acquiring Suffolk Life we are joining forces with one of the strongest players in the SIPP sector.

“The resulting combination of product expertise, enhanced service and distribution strength will provide an excellent opportunity for IFAs to choose from a broader range of competitively priced products.

“In the high net worth sector Suffolk Life will continue to build on their reputation and expertise in the SIPP market to offer bespoke SIPP solutions through their MasterSIPP product.”

The sale comes after a rapid rise for Suffolk Life, which has grown to have a large Ipswich workforce.

Established in 1971, Suffolk Life's two chief subsidiaries, Suffolk Life Annuities and Suffolk Life Pensions, are now responsible for gross pension fund assets of more than £2.5billion.