Resolution’s next acquisition will be a general insurer

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    Resolution is interested in buying a general insurer. According to John Tiner, its chief executive, it is  part of its ambitious plan to shake up European financial services.

    Mr Tiner, 52, a former head of the Financial Services Authority, told The Times that Resolution was “pretty ambivalent about where the next acquisition comes from … There are currently opportunities among publicly listed companies, European insurers with UK life businesses and domestic finance houses, such as banks, that are thinking about their commitment to the assets they own.”

    Analysts say that Resolution is likely to make at least one more acquisition this year. It has been linked with the British divisions of AXA, the French insurer, and is seen as eyeing Scottish Widows, owned by Lloyds Banking Group, as its ultimate target in the UK.

    Although now is not the right time to buy a general insurer, Mr Tiner said, this could change. He said that it was his job to be “open-minded” and to advise Resolution on timing.

    Mr Tiner said: “For Resolution, 2009 and 2010 is the period of acquisition and beginning the processes of integration. In 2011, the integration completes and towards the end of the year you begin to think about the exit strategy.”

    Resolution, created last year by insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery to buy insurers and asset managers, clinched the first of a hoped-for trio of deals last month with the 1.86 billion pound ($3.11 billion) takeover of life insurer Friends Provident.