Equitable Life team under threat as Pru talks fail

Equitable Life has stopped all advertising following its decision to close its doors to new customers after Prudential pulled out of talks to buy the troubled insurance group.

The collapse of the talks has left Equitable Life’s 40-strong marketing and sales team facing an uncertain future.

One source at the company, who refused to be named, revealed that the team, which includes ten marketing staff, could all be asked to leave within the next three months. It is understood there will be no cuts in the administration department.

Nick Cook, advertising and publicity manager for Equitable Life, the country’s oldest mutual insurance company, has strongly denied the claims. He admits that the company is “looking at restructuring the business” but declined to go into any detail.

John Weller, general manager for sales and marketing, was unavailable for comment.

But the source told Marketing Week: “Obviously, it’s a sad time for everyone involved. We are hoping to hear something before Christmas. There are a lot of people in the department doing nothing.

“It’s not a good situation. Until we hear what is happening, we can’t start looking for other jobs.”

Equitable Life is now looking at selling off individual assets, which could include its sales force.

Equitable Life put itself up for sale following a House of Lords ruling in July that forced the company to honour its promises on 90,000 guaranteed annuities which had been sold in the high-interest Seventies and Eighties. The lower interest rates of the Nineties made it impossible for the company to pay out on the policies without raiding money that was due to other policy holders.

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