Engage Mutual to merge with larger rival Family Investments

Peter Burrows
Peter Burrows
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Engage mutual has announced a proposed ‘merger’ with larger rival Family Investments.

The Harrogate-based assurance and savings business has recommended its members back the deal in an upcoming vote.

Engage Mutual currently has £900m in assets under management from around 500,000 customers, compared to Family Investment’s £4.9bn from two million members.

Engage chairman Christina McComb is to head the board of the joint business, while Family Investments chief executive Simon Markey will continue his role in the new organisation.

Peter Burrows, currently chief executive at Engage, is in line for the chief financial officer title, returning to the position he held at Engage until 2012.

Mr Burrows denied the merger amounted to a takeover, hailing it as an ‘exciting opportunity’ for both firms.

He told The Yorkshire Post: ‘We’re both mutuals, members from both organisations need to positively vote for this change to happen.

‘We’re focused on doing what is in the best interests of our members.’

Engage is in a ‘strong position’ financially, holding more than three times the excess assets required and recording a 12 percent rise in sales in the first half of the year, he added.

It is not yet clear whether the Engage Mutual brand will continue after the transaction. Mr Burrows said discussions are ongoing, but the business’ rebrand ‘will be respectful’ to both companies’ history.

The Engage Mutual Foundation, which provides personal grants and community awards, will continue, with funding increased to £1m annually from around £200,000 at present.

Family Investments had its most successful year in 2013, as profits grew 83 percent.