Lonsdale, the dealer group 70 per cent owned by Zurich, is about to start writing risk business in-house.

The group has always provided risk services, and licences three financial planning businesses specialising in risk, but is in the process of adding extra resources to write business and personal risk internally. According to Mario Modica, Lonsdale chief, the initiative will help the group identify external opportunities in the market and will “hopefully” also generate a new income stream. Lonsdale advisers support a range of risk providers including Zurich. It’s a “good spread across the board, but there is good support for Zurich”, Modica said. “Zurich products are assessed on their merit along with every other product.” In light of Zurich’s recent sale of the Accountants Super Fund to Recruitment Super (see story in this week’s I&T News), and its selling off of interests in other dealers such as Australian Financial Services, Zurich may well look to sell down its stake in Lonsdale. Modica admitted there has been interest from some of the group’s advisers seeking equity participation.

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