Swiss Re to manage Freedom remediation

Swiss Re has agreed to take on the responsibility of designing and managing Freedom Insurance Group's customer remediation program.

Freedom confirmed Swiss Re as the remediation manager, and Genus Life Insurance Services Pty Ltd as the third party to which it is transitioning its policy administration services.

Swiss Re will pay Freedom a net settlement consideration of $5 million when its policy admin services transition is complete.

Under the agreement, Swiss Re, AIA Australia and NobleOak will end Freedom's product development and distribution, and its policy administration agreements.

"In conjunction with the transfer of its administration business Freedom is considering alternatives to exit Spectrum Wealth Management. Subject to successfully exiting this business, Freedom will have exited all its operating businesses," it said in company filings.

Proceeds will go towards paying back creditors and regulatory obligations, with the excess going to shareholders. The ASX-listed company has a market cap of less than $5 million. Stock price started to tumble in August last year and now has lost about 95% since.

Freedom is currently divesting all its operations after a scathing year that included the Royal Commission playing recorded calls of a sales person selling insurance to a man with intellectual disabilities.

On April 15, the ASX-listed company said it was transferring its policy administration business to a third party and hiring a service provider to remediate clients. The identities of the two parties were not revealed.

New directors

Freedom has also appointed two new directors to its board as it moves ahead winding up its business.

Former Fairfax director Doug Halley and James Green have been appointed as non-executive directors on Freedom Insurance Group's board, it said in company filings.

The appointments, which are effective immediately, adds transition skills to Freedom's board which is now implementing the changes announced on April 15 and confirmed as executed yesterday.

Stephen Menzies and Andrew Jensen have retired from the board.

"The Freedom board over the past few months has been very focused on delivering the best possible outcome for all stakeholders including policyholders, employees and shareholders," Freedom chair Pauline Vamos said.

She added that the business has not been able to recover from the cessation of product sales in September 2018 following the release of the ASIC Direct Life Report.

"However, during this period, we have continued to administer the policies efficiently and respond to our customers' requests in a timely manner. This has been reflected in consistently positive feedback and high ratings for Freedom in line consumer surveys and will assist n ensuring there that there is a seamless transition to Genus," she said.

Read more: Swiss ReFreedom Insurance GroupGenus Life Insurance Services Pty LtdAIA AustraliaAndrew JensenASIC Direct Life ReportDoug HalleyFairfaxJames GreenNobleOakPauline VamosRoyal CommissionSpectrum Wealth ManagementStephen Menzies
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