Insurer adds e-dealing to wealth management system

CGNU, the UK's largest insurer, has delivered the first transactional elements of its controversial e-business strategy with the...

CGNU, the UK's largest insurer, has delivered the first transactional elements of its controversial e-business strategy with the launch of two online financial services.

The interactive share dealing service and fund supermarket form part of CGNU's high-profile wealth management offering.

Branded as a norwich union.com service, it will allow customers to use the Internet to buy and sell shares and invest in funds, providing an interactive facility for the first time.

It is also part of a wider drive to standardise e-business infrastructures across the recently-merged group. CGNU has refused to reveal details of the e-business platform, supporting the services. Last year Computer Weekly revealed that Norwich Union's Pathfinder project had undergone a radical change in the wake of the merger with CGU in 1999.

Pre-merger documents seen by Computer Weekly show that completion had been planned for September 2000. When it was launched last year Pathfinder lacked any interactive facilities for customers to conduct financial transactions. Sources close to CGNU claimed that this showed the limitations of the project and its slow progress.

A spokeswoman for CGNU said this week that the two recently-launched applications on the platform were part of a rolling project and insisted that it had always run to schedule.

Phase two will see the e-business platform rolled out to support other parts of the business, she added. This may include general insurance and pensions.


The progress of the project will provide a welcome morale boost to IT staff at CGNU. In the drive to consolidate systems since its merger in 1999 the firm has cut hundreds of IT staff posts by closing down one of its main IT centres and has also scrapped a £124m outsourcing contract with IBM after only two years.

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