Skandia restructures for growth in Scandinavia

Sweden’s Skandia Liv and Skandia AB are now forging an independent business path following completion of the recent deal with previous owner Old Mutual.

Skandia, the financial services name that originated in Sweden in the 19th century, is going through another corporate change that will emphasise its Scandinavian roots once more.

Part of the broader Old Mutual group since it was taken over in the mid-noughties, the businesses using the Skandia name in Sweden have decided to forge an independent path once more, with a combined SEK440bn (€50bn) of assets.

Hans Sterte is head of Skandia Liv Asset Management and is responsible for the Liv portfolio. Jim Rotsman (pictured), in charge of the investment proposition offered to Skandia AB’s customers, says: “Skandia Liv is one of the largest asset owners in Sweden with about €30bn assets under ­management.

“Its investment portfolio consists of Swedish and international bonds and equities, as well as a wide spectrum of alternative investments (private ­equities, real estate and commodities). The investment strategy applies both actively managed mandates and cost-efficient passive strategies.

“The mandates are managed by internal and external specialists, who are chosen based on their expertise in each market. The external mandates are typically structured as segregated mandates or fund investments.”

Pooling of assets

Rotsman adds that Skandia AB and Skandia Liv are likely to look for ways to pool their assets. The focus will be around how they can work together to improve the products their c­ustomers can access.

“Of course, we will look at how they invest through the respective parts of the business, and if there is a link there. For example, if there is SEK20bn from Skandia Liv and SEK1bn from Skandia AB with a manager, then we will look at that.

“However, the most important ­message is this is all about improving the service to the customer.

“Work is ongoing to transfer over the research capabilities from SIG to Skandia. There is a handover period agreed. What helps is that Skandia Liv has used a similar process to the 4P used by SIG and relied on by Skandia AB’s selection process. 4P will remain. However, the difference is that it will no longer be done by SIG, but here internally.”

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