Diligenta inks £486 BPO services deal with UK life assurance group Pearl

Source: Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) subsidiary Diligenta today announces that is has entered the UK Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Life Assurance market having secured a £486 million deal with Pearl, the Peterborough based closed fund group.

Diligenta will provide BPO services over an initial 12 year period for Pearl Group Ltd in processing and administration.

Diligenta is a UK based, FSA regulated subsidiary of TCS, the world-leading information technology consulting, services, and business process outsourcing organisation. It will offer similar services to other life companies, presenting it with an opportunity for significant future growth as BPO becomes increasingly prevalent in the UK Life Assurance industry.

David Power, Diligenta's CEO commented, "We are delighted Pearl has chosen Diligenta. Diligenta is in a great position as it combines an in-depth knowledge of UK Life Assurance with the proven IT and delivery capability of one of the world's top IT service, consulting and BPO firms, TCS."

Over the course of the 12 year deal, Diligenta will leverage TCS' IT expertise and consolidate 11 financial and administrative systems onto a single platform.

Jonathan Moss, Managing Director Life Services in Pearl Group, said, "This is a start of a new chapter in Pearl's history and is good news all around for customers, shareholders and staff. The new arrangements provide certainty over a major portion of the cost base well into the future. This is very important protection for policyholders because over the long term the unit cost per policy will be maintained at competitive levels."

Moss added: "We went through a rigorous process to select Diligenta and are delighted that they will build a UK centre of Excellence in Peterborough. The transfer process has been smooth and we look forward to working together."

"Given the groundbreaking deal with Pearl, TCS is now a serious player in the insurance BPO space," said Catherine Schmitt, senior analyst at research firm Celent. "The launch of Diligenta highlights TCS's ability to deliver core back office services to the industry using local skill sets, which is key for the European markets. Diligenta places TCS firmly on the list of BPO providers to be considered for large complex insurance BPO deals."

"TCS has created the Diligenta centre of excellence around the Pearl Group operation in Peterborough," said Anders Maehre, Datamonitor. "This initial deal sees TCS enter the UK Life Assurance BPO market with the single biggest outsourcing contract of its kind. Diligenta's business proposition of predominantly onshore operational capability combined with TCS' global transformational expertise aims to attract further open and closed book business."

With circa one thousand staff, the Peterborough office will be a centre of excellence providing the foundation for the company's development and expansion.

David Power concluded, "Winning the Pearl deal immediately gives Diligenta a major market share in the UK. Our aim is to grow the business and expand in this developing UK market to become the market leader within 3 years."

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