Friends Provident

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Friends Provident
IndustryFinancial Services
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
Trevor Matthews, (Group Chief Executive)
ProductsInsurance, Inheritance tax products, Investment Management Pensions
Revenue£949 million (2008)
£(871) million (2008)
£(666) million (2008)
Number of employees
Around 6,000 worldwide

Friends Provident was an organisation offering life insurance based in the London, England. It was founded as a mutual Friendly Society for Quakers, although it was demutualised in 2001 and became a publicly listed company, no longer linked with the Religious Society of Friends. On 29 March 2011 Friends Provident changed its trading name to Friends Life, although its registered name remains as Friends Provident.[1]

The head office was located at 100 Wood Street in London. The registered office is at Pixham End, Dorking in Surrey. It is a member of the Association of British Insurers and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until being acquired by buyout firm Resolution in November 2009. F&C Asset Management demerged from Friends Provident in 2009.[2]

In 2018, it merged into its parent company Aviva. It is now part of the Aviva group.[3]


The company was founded by Samuel Tuke and Joseph Rowntree, both Quakers, in 1832 in Bradford as the Friends Provident Institution,[4] a friendly society for members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). In 1854 it became a mutual life assurance company. In 1918 it acquired Century Insurance and in 1926 it bought Liverpool Marine & General Insurance.[5]

Friends Provident was located at
100 Wood Street, London, EC2V 7AN

Policies and membership of the Friends Provident Institution were only available to Quakers until 1915. Until 1983, a minimum of five members of the Board of Directors of Friends Provident had to be Quakers. Today, Friends Provident does not have any formal link with the Religious Society of Friends.

In 1986 it merged with UK Provident.[6] In 1992 it became a foundation partner in the Eureko Alliance in association with AVCB (The Netherlands), Topdanmark (Denmark) and Wasa (Sweden). As part of this alliance, Friends Provident passed all of its then non UK subsidiaries (primarily in Australia and Canada) into Eureko.[7]

In 1993 it acquired the UK operations of National Mutual of Australia and in 1998 it acquired London & Manchester Assurance.[6]

In July 2001 it went through a process of demutualisation and was first listed on the London Stock Exchange.[8] As part of the demutualisation the Friends Provident Foundation was endowed as an independent charity.[9]

On 21 January 2008 JC Flowers made a bid of £4bn (175p per share) as an informal offer for the company.[10]

Resolution resumed talks with Friends Provident in July 2009 but was rejected twice,[11] though Friends Provident eventually agreed to a takeover in August 2009.[12] The £1.86 billion acquisition closed in November 2009.[13]

On 29 March 2011 Friends Provident changed its name to Friends Life.[1]


The UK Life and Pensions business markets a range of life protection, income protection, pensions and investment products for individual customers and corporate clients throughout the UK.[14]

The International Life and Pensions business operates throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.[14]

Senior management[edit]

Trevor Matthews, chief executive

Trevor Matthews joined the organisation as chief executive on 30 July 2008. His annual salary for this role is £720,000.[15]

Ethical stance[edit]

Friends Provident was the first investment house in the UK to offer a fully ethical investment fund called the Stewardship fund.[16]

Members of the Friends Provident Group[edit]

  • Friends Provident Life and Pension Limited - Provides life, pension and investment services within the UK
  • Friends Provident Life Assurance Limited - Provides life and investment services worldwide under English and Guernsey law.
  • Friends Provident International Limited - Formerly Royal and Sun Alliance International but was taken over in 2003. Provides life and investment services worldwide and operates under the law of the Isle of Man.


The Friends Provident building on South Parade in Leeds.

Friends Provident had large offices in a number of locations including Manchester, Clyst St. Mary in Exeter and Dorking, and was the second largest employer in Salisbury. There are also a few smaller area offices such as those in Bristol and Preston.

Internationally Friends Provident had offices in Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

Sports sponsorships[edit]

In 2009 the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that Friends Provident would be the title sponsor for the new Twenty20 competition, the Friends Provident T20.[17]

In 2007 Friends Provident signed a three-year deal to sponsor the domestic one-day cricket competition, The Friends Provident Trophy.[18]

Friends Provident were the main sponsor of Southampton F.C. from 1999 to 2006 and also sponsored the St Mary's Stadium, from its construction in 2001 until 2006.[19] During this time, the venue was officially known as the Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium.


  1. ^ a b Lock, Alison (29 March 2011). "Friends Life launches from Resolution buyouts". Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  2. ^ Our history Archived 30 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine F&C Asset Management
  3. ^ "Friends Life is now part of the Aviva group - Aviva". Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ Milligan's Biographical dictionary of British Quakers in commerce and industry page 581. This refers to a history of the company: Friends for life by D. Tregonning and H. Cockrell (1982)
  5. ^ "Friends Provident History 1918-1945". Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Friends Provident History 1980-1999". Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  7. ^ " - CBSi". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  8. ^ " - CBSi". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  9. ^ "About us - Friends Provident Foundation". Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  10. ^ JC Flowers in £4bn bid for troubled Friends Provident, The Times, 21 January 2008
  11. ^ "Friends rejects Resolution again". BBC News. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  12. ^ "Friends backs Resolution takeover". BBC News. 11 August 2009.
  13. ^ Neligan, Myles; Howley, Victoria (6 November 2009). "Resolution may go private for next deal". Reuters. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  14. ^ a b "Friends Provident Protection". Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Remuneration Report of the Board: Executive team for 2009". Corporate governance report for 2008. Friends Provident. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  16. ^ Martin, Roderick; Casson, Peter D.; Nisar, Tahir M. (2007). Investor Engagement: Investors and Management Practice under Shareholder Value. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 9780191607059.
  17. ^ "Friends Provident T20". Retrieved 28 May 2017.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "The Professional Cricketers' Association". Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Logon - Marketing, Advertising & Design Jobs". Retrieved 28 May 2017.

External links[edit]