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Maloney to head Stone after Asteron buys Service 1st

Asteron has bought advisory back-office firm Service 1st for an undisclosed sum with its founder, Mike Maloney, to remain in a senior position with the insurance group.

Thursday, November 27th 2008, 4:42PM

by David Chaplin

As well as staying on as general manager of Service 1st, Maloney will also head up Asteron’s recently-refurbished risk advisory group, Stone & Associates.

Service 1st was only launched earlier this year, offering advisers a range of services such as underwriting management, database clean-ups and improving referral relationships.

Maloney told Good Returns this June that Service 1st also operated a “smart technology” CRM system that was unique to the industry.

“We will look after all the functions that advisers shouldn’t have to do,” he said at the time.

According to Maloney, the back-office business had already signed on a number of clients that would continue to be serviced despite the acquisition by Asteron.

“Existing clients are satisfied the company will remain independent and their companies’ confidentiality will not be compromised by the new ownership arrangement,” he said in a statement.

As well as providing services to Stone, Maloney said the business would continue to look for other third-party clients.

Late last month, Asteron restructured the Stone group, which it took control of late in 2004 after the advisory firm had built up considerable debt with the insurer. Since taking over Stone, Asteron has had to inject several million dollars into the firm.

However, consultant Darrin Franks, who orchestrated the new-look Stone, said the group was rapidly moving into profitability.

Franks said the purchase of Service 1st had enabled Stone to reduce some of its capital costs.

“These functions are not only what will become an integral part of compliance requirements, but vital to the levels of service clients expect from their advisers in today’s economic climate,” he said in a statement.

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