Openwork is to take control of MetLife’s network of 930 protection advisers, Mortgage Strategy’s sister title Money Marketing can reveal.
MetLife staff were informed of the decision at a meeting held last week in Birmingham, with the transition to Openwork set to take place on 1 November.
The network of self-employed advisers will now advise on Openwork’s panel of protection products, including critical illness, income protection and life cover. They currently advise on accident protection and term life.
Openwork declined to disclose full details of the commercial agreement, although the deal will see MetLife’s accident protection product added to the firm’s panel.
MetLife inherited the advisers as part of the deal to acquire life company Alico in 2010.
Openwork managing director Mark Duckworth says: “We are thrilled to be taking on MetLife UK’s protection advisers. The agreement reinforces our commitment to support closing the protection gap and takes our total number of advisers across the group to 3,000.
“Our new colleagues will be able to recommend a broader proposition to their clients and enjoy enhanced technological capability, accelerated career progression and the support to build on the success they have already achieved with MetLife.”
MetLife managing director Dominic Grinstead says: “Our long-term UK expansion plans are focussed on expertise as a product provider and innovator distributing through a range of channels.
“We have established a market-leading position in wealth management and a strong employee benefits business and the agreement with Openwork enables us to target new opportunities in the accident and health sector supporting the best interests of customers and staff.”
Openwork is 25 per cent owned by Zurich, with two-thirds owned by advisers and the remainder of the companies shares owned by employees.