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LV and Royal London bury hatchet but won't merge

Peace: Royal London boss Barry O'Dwyer

The Royal London boss says peace has broken out between his firm and rival insurer LV after a bitter row, although failed merger talks have not been revived

Peace: Royal London boss Barry O'Dwyer

Peace: Royal London boss Barry O’Dwyer

The Royal London boss said peace had broken out between his firm and rival insurer LV after a bitter row, although failed merger talks have not been revived.

Barry O’Dwyer’s comments follow the collapse of reconciliation talks in February last year. LV has since appointed a new boss, David Hynam, and has pledged to remain an independent mutual.

“I met briefly with the new LV CEO and had a really good chat, but no discussion about mergers or anything like that,” O’Dwyer said. “I wished him luck with what he’s doing. I think it’s on the right track.

The companies, which are both member-owned mutuals, fell out after LV’s former bosses tried to sell it to private equity firm Bain Capital for £530million, rejecting a competing offer from Royal London.

However, the attempted demutualization was thwarted when members voted against the takeover in 2021 following campaigning in The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail.

O’Dwyer praised LV’s commitment to remaining a mutual.

“At the time, we didn’t understand why LV needed to demutualize. I think we were right,” he said, adding that tough business conditions in the industry made it likely there would be mergers between life insurance, pensions and asset management companies. assets.

He added that he would consider mergers with other mutuals, but only if they took the first step.

‘There are no forced marriages in this industry – it would have to be a marriage of consent,’ he said, as Royal London last week announced a 58 per cent rise in profits from annual operating income before tax to £210 million.

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