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Skandia is a large independent provider of products for long-term savings and investments. They offer products and services that cater for various financial needs and security. Skandia pioneered the "MultiManager" approach, which has now been adopted by most life insurance providers.
Skandia started out as a Swedish insurance company in 1855. Today the brand operates in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Skandia also operates an internet bank called Skandiabanken in the Nordic region.
In 1979, the company formed a UK subsidiary, Skandia Life.
In 2003 the operations in North America, American Skandia, were acquired by Prudential Financial. The CEO of American Skandia, Wade Dokken partnered with Goldman Sachs and sold the division to Prudential Financial for $1.2 billion.
In 2005 South African/British financial services group Old Mutual launched a $6.5bn (£3.6bn) bid to acquire majority control of Skandia, which was met with resistance from some of Skandia's shareholders and directors. On February 3, 2006 Old Mutual completed its acquisition of Skandia, which was subsequently delisted from the Stockholm and London stock exchanges.
Skandia's largest operation, in terms of new business and profit, is the United Kingdom which launched in 1979. Their UK headquarters is Skandia House in Southampton. Skandia in the UK, along with Old Mutual Global Investors, forms Old Mutual Wealth. As well as in the UK, Old Mutual Wealth has operations in Europe and various international markets, overseeing £78.5 billion in customer investments (as at December 2013). Paul Feeney is the Chief Executive Officer of Old Mutual Wealth.
In March 2012 Old Mutual sold the Nordic businesses (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) to the Swedish-based Skandia Liv, a partly mutual assurer, in an all cash deal for £2.1bn. Following this, Skandia UK, Skandia International and the Skandia European businesses outside the Nordic region are being rebranded as 'Old Mutual Wealth' in September 2014.
The countries where Skandia operates as a member of the Old Mutual Group include:
Skandia UK was the title sponsor of the world’s largest sailing regatta, Cowes Week, held on the Isle of Wight, UK for 14 years, ending its association in 2008. From April 2006 to March 2013, Skandia UK was the title sponsor of the British sailing team, Skandia Team GBR. The team competed in the Olympic and Paralympic classes and included multiple Olympic gold medal winners such as Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy.
Skandia Poland sponsors the Skandia Marathon, a cycling event organised by Langteam in which over 1000 competitors, aged from 4 to 80 years old, take part.
Skandia International, which specialises in offshore investment, sponsors the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and partners the United Arab Emirates Professional Golf Association in Singapore.
Following Old Mutual's takeover, Skandia announced it would be "going green" and underwent a rebranding from January 2008. The company announced that it would take 18 months for the rebranding to complete, with the UK and offshore division being first. The old logo was replaced with a new one to be more in-line with Old Mutual's colours.
Following Old Mutual’s sale the Nordic businesses (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) in March 2012 to the Swedish-based Skandia Liv, a partly mutual assurer, Skandia UK, Skandia International and the Skandia European businesses outside the Nordic region are being rebranded as 'Old Mutual Wealth' in September 2014.
Controversy surrounded Skandia in the mid-noughties, mostly due to illegal internal affairs with the Swedish Skandia Life, and for having provided executives with subsidized apartments in Stockholm. The involved executives are among others Lars-Eric Petersson and Ulf Spång. The Skandia trademark and reputation were tainted in Sweden during this time. It was alleged in late 2003 that executives at Skandia had embezzled 13 billion Swedish kronor. Subsequently, the board had to resign and, in 2006, Lars-Eric Petersson was sentenced to two years in prison. However, the case was later appealed to a higher court.
On 19 December 2007, the Court of Appeal dismissed all charges against Lars-Eric Petersson.
The charges by the prosecutor proceeded from the prerequisite that the payments from Skandia’s bonus program, called Wealthbuilder, to the beneficiaries were limited to an amount of SEK 300 million during the time period 1 January 1998 – 31 December 1999. According to the prosecutor, Lars-Eric Petersson had, without the consent of the Board, removed the cap on the bonus programme by signing a document named Appendix 3, and thus causing payments of additionally approx. SEK 156 million to the beneficiaries. According to the Court of Appeal, the prosecutor was not able to prove that the limitation for Wealthbuilder was still in force when Lars-Eric Petersson signed Appendix 3 in December 2000. The charges were therefore dismissed. (Translation of the press release from the Svea Court of Appeal)
On 26 March 2010, the former legal head of Skandia Germany, Michael Wolski, was prosecuted for tax fraud of the Cezanowski family (about EUR 50 million which Michael Wolski cashed in) for 2 years and 6 months jail in Darmstadt, Germany. His wife Karin Wolski, who is a high court judge, resigned on the same day. His wife is driving among others a Bugatti Veyron, which was bought from the "stolen" money.
- "Wade Dokken: Bibliography". Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- "About Skandia". Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- "Skandia UK Directors". Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Completion of sale of Old Mutual's Nordic business
- "Skandia to become Old Mutual Wealth". Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- Old Mutual Group Structure
- Old Mutual Group Sponsorships
- http://www.sailskandia.co.uk/overseassponsorship/rhkyc.asp Sail Skandia website
- Skandia - Official site