Jim Smart has stepped down as chief financial officer of Friends Provident,
following the abortive plan for the life assurer to merge with Resolution.
Smart has not revealed what his next move will be. He decided to leave the
company when it proposed its planned merger with insurers Resolution. The move
would have seen Smart replaced by Resolution finance director Jim Newman.
When the move fell through, Smart decided to stick by his decision to leave
This is not the first time Smart was squeezed out due to a merger. In his
former role at Boots he saw his top finance spot taken by George Fairweather
following the merger with Alliance Unichem to create Boots Unichem.
Smart is replaced by Charles Bellringer, who takes up the role on an interim
basis. Bellringer has previously worked in senior finance positions at Legal
& General as well as Equitable Life.
Friends Provident has also scrapped plans to sell its financial advice unit
Pantheon Financial, deciding to retain ownership to avoid disruption in the
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