allied_dunbar_logoThe Company was founded by Sir Mark Weinberg, Lord Joffe and Sir Sydney Lipworth after Abbey Life was taken over, when they obtained seed finance fromHambros Bank, and set up its headquarters in Swindon town centre in 1970 under the name ‘Hambro Life Assurance’.   It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1975.  The company expanded its financial adviser operations during the late 70’s and early 80’s, acquiring the Allied Unit Trusts of which it was soon the major unitholder, to become ‘Allied Hambro’ in 1984; after Hambros disposed of their highly profitable investment, changing to ‘Allied Dunbar’ in 1985 after it purchased Dunbar & Co., a small private bank; following the acquisition by BAT Industries,  the asset management department was hived off to form Threadneedle, and it was bought out by Zurich Financial Services in 1998.

Its forceful direct sales force became the Zurich Advice Network (ZAN) in 2001.  In 2005 and following changes in industry regulation ZAN evolved into a stand-alone limited entity known as Openwork – a directly authorised multi-tiered financial distribution network.

Info gleaned from Wikipedia

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