Equitable Life, the mutual insurer, has hired the Maitland
Consultancy to handle UK corporate and financial PR.
Maitland, which was appointed without a pitch, will report to Nigel
Webb, Equitable’s head of PR. The incumbent PR agency was Cardew and
The firm, which is the oldest mutual insurer in the world, has been
involved in a long-running dispute over guaranteed annuity payments and
in February the Appeal Court ruled that Equitable Life directors acted
unlawfully in reducing final bonuses paid to 90,000 holders of policies
with guaranteed annuity rates.
The ruling leaves Equitable ripe for takeover. Names such as Standard
Life, Prudential and Axa have been mentioned as possible buyers of the
In September last year, a PressWatch report ranking over 500 financial
services companies based on positive and negative media coverage ranked
Equitable Life in last position out of 518 firms. And in January the
company blamed a ten per cent decrease in sales on bad publicity
surrounding the case.
Webb denied the change in agency related to the firm’s current
’We review advisers from time to time and we elected to go with
Maitland. It was part of the general review process,’ he said.
Cardew and Associates was not willing to comment on the change.
- The Maitland Consultancy has been appointed to handle PR for Digital
Channel Partners, which offers e-commerce solutions to business.