CGU hatches rival brand to Egg

Insurance, pensions and investment group CGU is taking on Prudential’s Egg with the launch of a separate company selling mortgages under a new brand name.

At the end of last year, CGU announced it was moving out of mortgages and sold its home-loan portfolio to Skipton Building Society for &£150m.

The new business will see CGU moving back into mortgages through a home-buying one-stop shop. Products will include mortgages, house insurance, an estate agency service and local information, which will be sold over the telephone and through the Internet.

Codenamed “Seattle”, it will launch in the spring, backed by a &£10m ad campaign through BMP DDB. An unnamed new media agency has been appointed to create a Website.

Rod Butcher, who formerly worked at CGU’s group central operation, is overseeing branding for the new operation.

Butcher declined to comment on the project, although sources say it will be a separate business run by a different management team. They say CGU is hoping to emulate the success of Egg, the separate savings and loan operation set up by rival insurer Prudential last year.

It is understood CGU will stretch the new brand into other areas of financial services, as Prudential has done with Egg, which now offers mortgages and credit cards.

Project Seattle comes on the back of the launch of Bluecycle.com, an Internet auction site set up by CGU.

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