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Financial Services - 1999






















Carlyle Insurance Brokers has acquired the Cardiff-based Johns Bowen Partnership for undisclosed terms, and will relocate its Cardiff office to form a new headquarters at the St Andrews Crescent premises of Johns Bowen.

National Westminster Bank has agreed to sell its NatWest Equity Partners fund management business to a management team for undisclosed terms.

Inter-Alliance is to set up a finance centre in Middlesbrough, and is looking to recruit a team of 25 financial advisers and support staff.

Halifax is to recruit a further 600 staff for its internet bank at a second site near Edinburgh, on top of the 500 already being hired at Edinburgh Park.

National Insurance & Guarantee Corporation, the motor and commercial insurance company, has been acquired by Winterthur of Switzerland for £120m.

Hogg Robinson has sold its Advizas independent financial advice division to Towry Law for £16m.

Eversheds has merged with Boekel De Neree, the Dutch law firm with 250 staff.

Lambert Fenchurch is to merge with Heath in a £135m deal that will create a new company called HLF Insurance Holdings.

Halifax's life insurance division Clerical Medical has acquired Lands Improvement, the agricultural property group, in a deal that values the company at £42m.

Northern Rock is to close 29 of its 105 bank branches with the loss of 250 jobs, but 100 new jobs will be created at a call centre in Sunderland and a further 300 will be recruited at its Newcastle head office to work on e-commerce.

Hercules Property Services is acquiring Deacon Insurance Services, the residential property insurance intermediary, for £14m.

Sutherlands, the Edinburgh-based stockbroker, is set to be acquired by CCF-Charterhouse of France in a £15m deal.

CGU has acquired Dutch insurer Nuts Ohra for £122m, and has also announced the formation of a joint venture with Societe Generale in Romania.

EDS is planning to create up to 300 more jobs at its new call centre in Peterlee, where it provides loan services to Lloyds TSB customers.

Culver Holdings is acquiring BMS Greenstock, the London-based commercial and personal insurance company, for £0.5m.

CGU is to take full control of Hibernian Group in a deal that values the Irish life assurer at £336m.

Sun Life & Provincial is to sell its Irish life assurance business to Royal Liverpool Assurance for about £86m.

McLarens Toplis, the loss-adjuster, is to set up a £3m claims management centre in Portsmouth with the creation of 100 jobs.

Hyder is to invest £30m in Lincoln in order to run financial services for Lincolnshire County Council, and up to 500 jobs will be created on top of the 700 employees being transferred from the council.

Bradstock is to sell its personal financial planning business to Berry Birch & Noble for £0.5m.

CGU is to sell its Greek life assurance business to Aspis Pronia for undisclosed terms, and Aspis will distribute CGU's investment products in Greece.

Exchange Holdings is acquiring Money World, the personal finance web site, for £9m, and expects to follow this up with other acquisitions.

HSBC is to recruit a further 120 staff for its banking call centre in Swansea, in order to set up a 24-hour service.

Johnson Fry, the retail fund management company, has accepted a £42m takeover offer from Legg Mason of the US.

Hill House Hammond is moving one of its Bristol-based insurance call centres to new premises in The Pithay, where it will create up to 150 jobs.

Denton Hall is to merge with Wilde Sapte to create the UK's ninth largest law firm with about 800 lawyers.

Granville, the independent investment bank, has been acquired by Robert W Baird of the US for £37m, and will be renamed Granville Baird in preparation for an expansion across Europe.

Churchill Insurance has acquired Devitt Insurance, the London-based personal lines broker, from SBJ Group for undisclosed terms.

Bradford & Bingley Building Society is to create up to 200 new jobs in the Bingley area, having decided to centralise its operations in West Yorkshire, but a call centre in Leamington Spa will close with the loss of up to 275 jobs.

Halifax is to set up a separate internet and telephone banking division at a cost of £100m, with the creation of 500 jobs in Edinburgh.

Barclays is selling its Transpay foreign currency processing business to a joint venture of Travelex and the Royal Bank of Scotland for about £25m.

Ocwen, the mortgage lender, has undergone a £510m management buy-out with the backing of Royal Bank Development Capital.

Peoples Choice is to set up a call centre in Leicester for its motor and household insurance business, creating 600 jobs.

Lovell White Durrant is to merge with Boesebeck Droste of Germany to create the fourth largest law firm in Europe.

Yorkshire Building Society has sold its sharedealing operation to TD Waterhouse for £9.6m, and the US company is now planning to launch its internet stockbroking business in the UK.

SVB Holdings is to merge with the CLM Insurance Fund in a £127m deal that will create one of the leading Lloyd's insurance vehicles.

CrestCo is planning to launch a major recruitment programme in order to help with the development of its Crest securities settlement system.

National Westminster Bank is to sell the Hawkpoint corporate finance acquisitions business to its 100 staff for undisclosed terms.

Close Brothers is set to acquire Warrior Group, the provider of financial services to the armed forces, for about £21m.

Churchill Insurance has announced an expansion programme that will create 280 jobs, including 160 telesales jobs at its new Bromley headquarters, 90 jobs at its call centre on Teesside, and 30 at its new accident repair centre in Rotherham.

Layton Blackham has acquired Chelmsford-based insurance broker Ford Loft Group for undisclosed terms, as part of a strategy to become the leading regional broker in the country.

Halifax is to set up a banking call centre in Belfast with the creation of an initial 700 jobs.

CGU is acquiring Gan Canada from Groupama of France for £56m, in order to expand its Canadian insurance business.

Scottish Amicable is to create a further 100 financial processing jobs in Stirling following the transfer of the life and pensions administration business of M&G.

Brockbank Group is to sell its two motor insurance operations - Admiral of South Wales and Zenith of West Sussex - to management buy-outs, in order to focus on areas such as marine and art insurance.

Prudential-Bache International of the US has acquired Matheson Investment, the London-based stockbroking firm, from Jardine Matheson for undisclosed terms.

Domestic & General, the domestic appliance breakdown insurer, is to create 50 new jobs at its call centre in Nottingham, while a smaller centre in Wimbledon will be closed.

Arnott-Century is creating 20 new jobs as part of an expansion of its insurance business in the north-east.

Domestic & General, the insurance company, has acquired Teega Agencies, the customer promotions company, for £0.9m.

Britannia Building Society has sold its life assurance business and 75% of its asset management division to Britannic, in a £346m deal.

Cabot Square Capital has acquired The Money Store UK from First Union Corporation of the US for about £325m, in order to expand its high-risk consumer lending business.

Bristol & West is to set up a new call centre in North Bristol employing 200 people, in order to build up its position in the telephone and postal banking sectors.

Townsley & Co, the private client stockbroker, is to be acquired by Dutch bank Insinger de Beaufort for undisclosed terms.

Helphire is acquiring 1st Automotive, the supplier of credit hire services, and taking full control of Rescue Car Rental, in a deal worth up to £10m.

Bishop & Robertson Chalmers is merging with Alex Morrison to create one of the top five law firms in Scotland.

Sun Life & Provincial is selling the life assurance business of Guardian Royal Exchange to Aegon of the Netherlands for £759m, and the enlarged company will be run from Aegon's existing facilities in Edinburgh.

Cornhill Insurance has acquired DBI, the pet healthcare insurer, from Generali of Italy.

Providian National Bank, the US credit card company, is considering plans to set up an office in Crawley with the creation of 500 jobs.

Norwich Union is to acquire the Spanish insurance business British Life from Scottish Provident for undisclosed terms.

Simon Brooke & Partners, the Leeds-based insurance broker, has acquired the bus and coach division of transport insurance specialist BMS Chapman Stevens.

Close Brothers is acquiring Rea Brothers Group, the private banking concern, for £47m, which will take it into offshore banking and trust management for the first time.

Charles Schwab is to set up a customer call centre in Milton Keynes with the creation of 450 jobs, in order to cope with the rapid growth in internet share dealing.

HSBC's Auto Direct division is planning to relocate its motor insurance operation to a new £1m call centre at the Trentham Lakes employment park in Stoke, creating almost 200 jobs.

Charles Crookes & Jones has merged with Phoenix Walters to create a combined Cardiff-based legal practice with 46 staff.

Secure Trust Banking Group is acquiring Weinel & Partners, the London fund manager, for up to £3m.

Royal & Sun Alliance is to acquire Orion Capital Corporation for £900m, in order to double the size of its US insurance business.

Alexander Knight Financial Management is planning to create 10 jobs in Yarm near Middlesbrough, having been awarded the Allied Dunbar financial consultancy franchise.

Clifford Chance has agreed to merge with Rogers & Wells of the US and Punder Volhard Weber & Axster of Poland in order to create a combined law firm with more than 2,700 lawyers.

MB&G Insurance Services is creating 200 additional jobs at its call centre in North Shields over the next 18 months.

Allied Dunbar is seeking 70 additional financial advisers and support staff at its North East regional office on the Newcastle Business Park.

Derbyshire Building Society is to launch a telephone banking service and up to 50 jobs could be created over the next few years.

Teather & Greenwood, the independent stockbroker, is planning to recruit up to 20 research and sales staff in order to double its marketmaking activities this year.

Garban is to merge with Intercapital in order to create the world's largest wholesale money broker, and jobs are expected to be lost in London and New York.

Cox Insurance is to set up a call centre in Bradford with the creation of 200 jobs.

Newcastle Building Society is planning to merge with Nottingham Imperial, one of the smaller building societies with 12,000 customers.

Prudential is to acquire Hung Fu Life Insurance Company of Taiwan for £30m, as part of a strategy to expand in northern Asia.

Deloitte & Touche has acquired Rutherford Mason Dowds for undisclosed terms, in order to expand its accountancy operations in Scotland.

Andersen Consulting is to add to its 350 staff in Aberdeen having won a contract to supply finance and administrative services to BP Amoco.

Themis Investment Management, the indexed fund manager, has been acquired by CCF Charterhouse of France for undisclosed terms.

Lloyds TSB is to acquire Scottish Widows for £7bn, and a new division will be set up in Edinburgh to combine their life, pensions, and unit trust operations.

Norwich Union has acquired Paladin Australia, the property fund manager, for undisclosed terms, and is now seeking further acquisitions in the Australian savings and pension market.

Irish Life is to acquire Woodchester Investment Brokers from GE Capital for undisclosed terms.

Royal & Sun Alliance has acquired Trygg-Hansa's non-life operations from SEB of Sweden for £320m, in order to expand its Nordic insurance business.

Royal Bank of Scotland is to acquire UST Corp, the US bank, for £881m, as part of a strategy to expand its Citizens Financial subsidiary in New England.

Bank of Scotland's Capital Bank subsidiary is creating 270 jobs at its call centre in Wythenshawe, in order to cope with rising demand for personal loans.

Woolwich and Countrywide Credit Industries are to set up a head office for their Global Home Loans mortgage service at the Crossways business park in Kent, creating up to 350 jobs.

Dresdner Bank is to acquire a Jersey-based trust company from Ernst & Young, to create one of the largest trust businesses in the Channel Islands with 360 staff.

Buchler Phillips, the insolvency and restructuring firm, is being acquired by Kroll-O'Gara, the Nasdaq-listed risk specialist, in a £12m deal.

NFU Mutual Direct is to set up a £3.8m insurance sales and customer service centre in Glasgow with the creation of 250 jobs over the next three years.

Charles Taylor is planning to acquire Tindall Riley, the manager of mutual insurance associations, but the price has not yet been finalised.

Southern Cooper, the Burnley-based law firm, is to merge with Whittle & Whittaker to create a combined firm called Southerns with 60 staff.

Northern Star, the Gloucester-based insurance company, is being sold by its Italian parent Assicurazioni Generali to Fortis, for a price still to be agreed.

Allied Dunbar is planning to recruit 750 additional financial sales staff, following a move to convert its salesforce into a franchised network in order to attract better-qualified advisers.

HSBC is to acquire Republic National Bank New York for $7.6bn, and is offering a further $2.6bn for the remaining 51% stake in Safra Republic Holdings, which includes a number of private banks in Europe.

Pink Home Loans, the Lichfield-based home loans company, is seeking to expand its office space and 50-strong workforce due to its success in the mortgage intermediary market.

Royal Bank of Scotland is to acquire the commercial banking operations of State Street of the US for $350m, through its Citizens Financial Group subsidiary.

Remington Collins, the Leicester-based insurance broker, is merging with the Beckett Group of East Anglia.

Beachcroft Stanleys is merging with Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave to create the UK's tenth largest law firm, and the new group will be called Beachcroft Wansbroughs.

KPMG is setting up an associated law firm called Klegal, and plans to launch a recruitment campaign.

Sedgwick is to sell Sedgwick Oakwood Lloyd's Underwriting Agents to Sedgwick Oakwood Capital for undisclosed terms.

Card Protection Plan is planning to set up a new credit card insurance office at Holgate Park in York, with the creation of 750 jobs.

Hammond Suddards has announced plans to recruit 250 staff in Leeds over the next three years in order to expand its house conveyancing and property services division.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter of the US has confirmed plans to set up a £20m customer service centre in Cumbernauld, creating 1,000 jobs over the next five years.

JP Morgan, the US investment bank, has confirmed plans to set up a £7m software engineering centre in Glasgow that will create up to 300 jobs.

Mercantile, the small Tyneside-based building society, is to acquire its local rival The Standard.

Abbey National is to expand its call centre in Belfast with the creation of 236 jobs.

Barclays has sold Merck Finck, the German private banking business, to Kredietbank Luxembourgeoise for £170m, as it did not fit in with group strategy.

Baker Tilly, the accountancy firm, is to merge with Gruber Levinson Franks in a move that will double its presence in the north west.

Royal Bank of Scotland is selling its RBS Trust Bank global custody business to the Bank of New York for about £500m.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter of the US is said to be planning to locate 1,000 back-office jobs in Cumbernauld, while JP Morgan is reported to be considering the creation of 300 IT jobs at the Stratchlyde Business Park.

CPP, the credit card insurance company, has opened a new customer service centre in York, and it expects to take on up to 1,000 staff over the next five years.

Nova Retail Finance, part of the Hitachi Credit group, is doubling the size of its consumer credit call centre in Leeds, which currently employs 85 staff.

Cattles is planning to open a branch a week this year, as part of a strategy to set up a national network of Shopacheck and Welcome consumer finance outlets.

Prudential has agreed a £1.9bn deal to acquire M&G Group, the fund manager, which is expected to create the UK's largest unit trust provider.

Marks & Spencer Financial Services is setting up a new telephone sales division in Chester, which will create 50 jobs.

The NatWest Customer Telephone Centre in Birmingham is to create up to 200 new jobs following an increase in demand for telephone banking services.

Standard Chartered is to acquire the non-Swiss trade finance business of UBS for £130m, in order to strengthen its position in Latin America and Asia.

Royal & Sun Alliance is selling its US life insurance operations to Swiss Re Life & Health for about £240m, in order to focus its US business on general insurance.

Hill House Hammond, the insurance company, is looking to recruit an additional 100 staff for its call centre in Bristol.

Hugh James, the Cardiff-based law firm, is merging with Exeter-based Ford Simey Daw Roberts in order to expand their insurance litigation work.

Henderson Investors, the fund management company, is acquiring Phoenix Realty Advisors of the US, which will more than double its property assets under management to £7.2bn.

Capital One, the credit card group, is increasing investment at its Nottingham operations centre to £50m and aims to recruit 900 staff this year.

National Westminster Bank is selling Gleacher NatWest, its US corporate advisory division, to management for undisclosed terms, as part of an ongoing withdrawal from investment banking.

Royal & Sun Alliance is planning to acquire Tyndall Australia, the insurance and fund management group, for £300m.

Prebon Yamane and MW Marshall, the over-the-counter brokers, are planning to merge to create a combined group with more than 2,000 staff in 30 offices around the world.

Fishers International is to acquire Pycraft & Arnold, the loss-adjuster for large insurers, for about £11m.

Close Brothers is acquiring the continental European operations of the US securities house Hambrecht & Quist, as H&Q has decided to concentrate its European business in London.

Guardian Royal Exchange, the insurance group, is to be acquired by Axa of France in a £3.3bn deal, and it will be merged with Axa's Sun Life & Provincial division.

Chiltern Group is planning to acquire the rival tax consultancy NCS Consultants for undisclosed terms.

Staffordshire Building Society is creating 61 new jobs in its 50-strong branch network, but 87 other positions are being made redundant.

Barclays has opened a new Barclaycall telephone banking centre at Doxford International Business Park in Sunderland, and a further 300 jobs will be created over the next few months.

BDO Stoy Hayward is to merge with Moores Rowland to create an enlarged accountancy firm with about 2,500 staff.

Anglo Irish Bank is to acquire Smurfit Paribas Bank, the joint venture between Banque Paribas and Jefferson Smurfit, for £27m.

Skipton Building Society has started work on a £9m extension to its headquarters, which will create 600 jobs on completion next year.

Abbey National is to recruit an extra 80 staff at its mortgage call centre at Teesdale, Thornaby, because administration of its bonus postal account is being transferred from Belfast.

Brown Shipley is to acquire Henry Cooke, the private client stockbroker, for £20m, in order to benefit from cross-selling opportunities.

Friends Ivory & Sime is to acquire London & Manchester's fund management divisions for £35m, which will increase its funds under management by 21% to £29bn.

CGU is acquiring Tellit Assurance, the French general insurer, from Royal & Sun Alliance for £7m.

Abbey National is to create 200 insurance jobs by expanding its operations at the Brunswick Business Park in Liverpool.

Travelex, the operator of airport currency exchange facilities, has been sold to management for undisclosed terms.

Wellington Underwriting, the Lloyd's insurance business, is to acquire J Linnerman, the US managing agent, for £2.5m.

Churchill Insurance is to open its new call centre at Thornaby near Stockton-on-Tees this month, which will eventually create 250 jobs.

Woolwich is seeking to recruit an additional 150 staff at its Firstplus financial call centre in Cardiff.