Fears have mounted over jobs in Coventry after the owner of Friends Provident revealed plans to slash £75 million in costs as part of a £2.75 billion takeover of Axa's UK life and pensions business.
Buy-out firm Resolution said it aimed to make the savings within four years by merging the Axa business with Friends, which it bought for just under £2 billion last year.
The bulk of the savings - 40% - would hit sales and marketing, with the remainder largely coming from customer service, IT and business support operations, according to details of the proposed deal. Around 2,000 directly-employed Axa staff will transfer to Resolution if the deal goes ahead.
Resolution will look to reorganise management and employees in the merged business under a 100-day plan. It said savings were likely to be made by way of "a reduction in management and technical duplication", merging offices and shutting some locations, streamlining teams, integrating IT systems and reducing supplier fees.
It said it was too early to give details on numbers of staff cuts or office location.
The Axa businesses being sold are based largely out of Bristol, where it has two centres, but also include offices in Coventry and Basingstoke.
Friends Provident employs around 4,000 in the UK and overseas, with UK offices in Manchester, Exeter, Salisbury, London and Dorking, Surrey.
Resolution's deal with Axa would create one of the UK's largest protection and group pensions businesses, to be called Friends Life. It plans to pay for the Axa deal by raising £2 billion in a cash call to investors.
Resolution is run by insurance entrepreneur Clive Cowdery, whose first investment vehicle, also called Resolution, was used to buy a string of life funds that had closed to new business, including Abbey National and Swiss Life. He sold the company to Hugh Osmond's Pearl Group for close to £5 billion at the end of 2007.
With the new group, he expects to consolidate three or four businesses by the start of 2011 with a view to selling the group by the end of 2012.
AXA Life in the UK was formed in 1997 after the merger of Sun Life Group and AXA Equity & Law. Axa is known to have been keen to exit the mature UK life assurance market for some time.