Milburn leaves Holloway as Optimal brand axed

Milburn leaves Holloway as Optimal brand axed

Insurance industry stalwart Andy Milburn has left Holloway Friendly as the group closes its Optimal brand.

Insurance provider Holloway Friendly has decided to close its group risk brand Optimal to new business with immediate effect. 

According to Stuart Tragheim, chief executive of Holloway Friendly, the closure of the group life subsidiary came because there was not enough scale to achieve a "healthy future" for the division.

Article continues after advert

He said: "In 2016, Optimal’s parent company conducted a strategic review. One conclusion was that Optimal had to achieve greater scale in its market. During 2017, it has become clear that, despite record breaking levels of new business, the scale needed for a viable and healthy future was unlikely to be achieved.

"As a mutual organisation Holloway Friendly must preserve value for our members, which is our primary concern."

Alongside this, as part of structural changes to the direction of the business, Mr Milburn, marketing and propositions director for Holloway Friendly, is leaving the company.

It is not known what Mr Milburn, who has worked in the life industry since the early 1990s at Royal & Sun Alliance, will be doing next. 

Also according to Mr Tragheim, Optimal will continue to maintain current schemes and benefits while the group goes through the restructuring process, to make sure ensuring schemes have continuation of cover.

Moving forward Optimal customers and advisers will be looked after by Canada Life Group Insurance, he added.

He said: "We have been working hard with Canada Life to ensure clients can continue to be offered competitive cover, great service and a range of benefits.

"Canada Life will be working with advisers to offer clients an enhanced product at their existing premium rate and the opportunity to transfer with the minimum of fuss."

Advisers received the news on 27 November, with guidance on how to access the offer with Canada Life and began to follow up with phone calls.

Canada Life will offer enhanced policy terms to the adviser and their client.

All schemes will have continuity of cover during this period.  

Under this process, the transition will make sure clients experience what Mr Tragheim said would be a "seamless transfer from Optimal to Canada Life with no break in cover".

Clients and advisers will retain or enhance the existing terms and conditions such as free cover level and event limits, and will have a dedicated team to support the transfer of Optimal business, led by the advisers’ usual Canada Life account manager.

If an adviser doesn’t currently work with Canada Life, they will allocate an account manager to the adviser.

Claims incurred until the scheme transfers or ceases will continue to be assessed and paid (if valid) by Optimal. Claims incurred after that date will then be assessed and paid (if valid) by Canada Life if the scheme is transferred to them using the process outlined.