10 min read

Engage Mutual Board recommends merger with Family Investments

Posted in: Corporate

Combined organisation would create one of the UK’s largest mutuals.

Engage Mutual announced today that the Board has made a formal recommendation that the Society merges with Family Investments to form one of the UK’s largest mutual insurers with over two million customers. The organisation would focus on helping families work together across generations, to save, invest and protect.

As a customer owned organisation, Engage will write to members and ask them to consider and vote on the proposed merger in the coming weeks.

Together, Engage and Family would have approximately £6 billion assets under management, with members of both boards and executive teams represented in the new organisation. It is envisaged that current Engage Chairperson, Christina McComb would become Chair of the joint organisation, and Family Chief Executive, Simon Markey, would become Chief Executive.

In different ways, Engage and Family are both focused on meeting the financial needs of families. Members of the merged business would benefit from being part of, and having a say in, a larger, even more financially secure organisation.  The enlarged business would be committed to increasing the scale and scope of the valuable benefits it provides to its customers. From a commercial perspective, greater economies of scale would provide operational efficiencies, enhanced new business opportunities, and a larger and improved capital base.

Engage Chairman, Christina McComb, said:

“It is clear to the Board that to join forces with Family would be in the long term best interests of our members. A merger with Family would accelerate our strategic intent to create a customer-owned business that delivers unmatched value, service and customer benefits.  We believe that combining our businesses would demonstrate the value of the mutual model through consolidation of our considerable individual financial strengths while maximising joint skills and capabilities to deliver a broader range of products and services to help families of all ages at key life stages.”

Engage has ensured that should the transaction proceed, the future of the Engage Foundation, its unique £1m customer benefit fund, would continue. The merged business intends to give away £5m over 5 years, which would expand the Foundation significantly.

Engage Chief Executive, Peter Burrows, said:

“What matters to us is what matters to our customers. We believe being stronger together as a single business is the best way for us to deliver greater value, long term strength, and make a positive difference to the lives of our customers and their families. We will now seek the approval of our membership to merge with Family on this basis.”

Editors’ notes:

Family Investments

Family Investments is dedicated to being the trusted provider of financial solutions for the family and currently looks after more than £4.9billion* of family money for almost two million people in the UK. Family Investments is a mutual with almost 40 years’ experience providing investments for families. Owned by their members, they are directly answerable to them. Family Investments is the trading name of Family Assurance Friendly Society and is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

*As per the audited accounts at 31st December 2013. Current unaudited balance of funds under management stand at £5.2bn as at 31st August 2014.

The merger proposal

To proceed the merger requires the approval of 75 per cent of members who vote of both societies and is then subject to regulatory approval. A merger would then be effected by a formal statutory transfer of engagements comprising, amongst other things, all Engage assets, rights, obligations and liabilities to Family.

A Special General Meeting to request the approval of members will be held later this year in Harrogate. Further details and voting packs will be sent to members.

About Engage Mutual

Engage Mutual is one of the larger UK mutuals with more than 30 years’ experience providing simple, value for money health, protection, savings and investment products to around 500,000 customers. The number one life assurer for servicing customer claims (LAMRA Life and Savings Benchmarking Survey 2013), Engage has more than £900 million in assets under management. Through the £1m Engage Foundation it actively supports what matters most to its customers through helping hand personal grants and community awards.

Engage Mutual Assurance is a trading style of Homeowners Friendly Society Limited (HFSL) which provides over 50s life cover plan, easy save, junior easy save and protected investment bond. HFSL is Registered and Incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Registered Number 964F. HFSL is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). HFSL’s Financial Services Register number is 110072.