Oldest Hand Is Still Setting New Trends

The Independent (London, England), October 11, 1996 | Go to article overview
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Oldest Hand Is Still Setting New Trends


Donald Gordon is just about the oldest hand around in the life insurance and pensions industry. As head of Liberty International, he boasts that after 40 years at the top he is the longest-serving chairman of anything, anywhere in the world.

He was one of Sir Mark Weinberg's earliest employers and then his partner in 1962 when they founded Abbey Life, now part of Lloyds Bank. They set off a revolution in the way life assurance is marketed, not always for the better if you look at the slick sales tactics the newcomers pioneered, and others copied. But when Mr Gordon says he is on to something, others in the industry take it seriously.

His new joint venture with Hermes, manager of the BT and Post Office pension funds, plans to exploit two new trends. The first is the move to money purchase pension schemes, which is accelerating rapidly as companies find the old final salary schemes too expensive.

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