group plans singapore office and also explores options in south africa
Skandia wants to establish a presence in the Singapore region and is currently in talks with the local regulator.
In this market, Skandia plans to target locals, non-resident Indians and expatriates as well as investors in nearby countries.
The group already has a presence in the Far East through its Hong Kong office, but a Singapore office would expand its opportunities in the South East Asia region. Additionally, Skandia is considering applying for a Dubai licence. Although Skandia already sells regular premiums and portfolio bonds in the country, it is not fully licensed.
André Oszmann, chief executive officer at Skandia, said: "If the group had a licence in Dubai the company would have wider distribution capabilities.
"Banks in the area want to do tie-ups with life companies in the region and are seeking groups that are regulated there. By having a licence, the group would also gain greater access to the local and non-resident Indian market."
Oszmann also believed there was demand for Skandia products in South Africa. The group's parent company Old Mutual has a large base in this market and Oszmann said this foothold could provide an ideal foundation for Skandia to target the region.
These moves are part of Skandia's decision to become more internationally focused. The group recently established the Skandia International Division (SID), formed specifically to develop the offshore business of the company.
He said: "We are concentrating on the non-UK market and are hoping to promote local staff up to senior management. We need local people who understand the market and hope to employ staff who we can promote upwards.
"Internationally, we are also looking to introduce products that will be based on providing long-term advice to the customer and the adviser with trail income. Advisers want products that have a more sustainable income model rather than high commission products."
In a different area, Oszmann said the group was planning to become more focused towards e-business, in order to provide clients with advice tools to help build portfolios and give customers valuations on products and transactions.key points
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The group hopes to gain a licence in Singapore and Dubai
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