The offshore business of Old Mutual is to become part of Skandia International, in an attempt to capitalise on market developments and share best practices across the businesses.
Skandia says as Old Mutual International (OMI) has a similar business model to the other companies within Skandia International, it is a “natural fit” and claims the move will form one of the largest offshore financial product providers in the world.
However, OMI will continue to be run as a distinct business and will retain its brand, but it will now report into Skandia International rather than Old Mutual South Africa, while the current management team, with Jan-Louis Raath as managing director, will continue to run the business.
Raath and his team will report into Andre Oszmann, chief executive officer of Skandia International, and the company says there are no plans to change any OMI personnel or to relocate staff but confirms Oszmann will join the OMI Board.
Oszmann’s appointment to the board, which will happen as soon as possible, will be the first step in the restructuring process, with the rest of the changes following after the legal process has been completed.
Skandia International was established in 2006 and currently consists of Royal Skandia – based in the Isle of Man - Skandia Life Ireland and Skandia Leben Liechtenstein, all of which are offshore cross border manufacturers.
The company is also responsible for Skandia Life sales to local nationals in Finland, Norway and Sweden, while OMI’s main focus is the provision of offshore products from Guernsey into South Africa - forming a key part of the Old Mutual customer proposition in that market.
As a result OMI is considered a “natural” fit with Skandia International because it has a very similar business model with minimal geographical or distribution overlap – as OMI focuses on the South African market and Skandia International’s core markets are the UK, Far East, Latin America and the Nordics.
Oszmann says the announcement is a “significant milestone in the evolution of our businesses” and puts the company in “an unrivalled position to become the leading offshore cross border product provider in the world”.
He adds: “The addition of OMI to Skandia International is an excellent fit, increasing our business footprint, while having a similar business model. Together the businesses will deliver a comprehensive product proposition and support network to financial advisers writing offshore business around the world.”
And Raath says: “We are very pleased to become part of Skandia International. OMI has been very successful in providing and supporting products for the South African market over the last 13 years. We welcome the additional opportunities and benefits which being part of a larger cross border business will bring us.”
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