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Punter Southall Group’s latest transaction sees it become the keystone investor behind a start-up promising to disrupt the insurance market.

The re-shaped financial services business is backing Guardian to be a fresh presence in the life and critical illness cover sector.

Harnessing innovative financial technology is central to its strategy: policies which are easier to understand – and designed always to pay out.

The company is owned by Gryphon, one of the biggest new entrants to the UK insurance industry for years, also backed by PSG.

This transaction is the latest chapter in the PSG’s 30-year story. In December, it merged its actuarial, investment consulting and administration business with Xafinity, in which it is the largest shareholder. It also retains the largest share in River and Mercantile, which merged with P-Solve in 2014.

Punter Southall Group Chief Executive and co-founder, Jonathan Punter, said: “By marrying technology with industry know-how, customers can be better served. Our group is always evolving by creating opportunities to do things in a different way. ”

Guardian Chief Executive Simon Davis said: “The single most important thing about a protection policy is that it pays out. We use simpler, broader definitions without general exclusions. When our customers need their policy to pay out, it will.

“Guardian will begin selling into the life and critical illness sector this month with around 60 adviser firms, having already put in place distribution deals with key strategic partners in a market worth circa £0.7 billion.”

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