Handelsbanken strengthens life insurance companies

Handelsbanken continues to strengthen its life insurance companies.
The management for SPP and Handelsbanken Liv has received further strengthening with the appointment of two of the bank's senior managers - Björn G Olofsson and Pehr Wissén.
Michael Zell, chief executive for SPP and Handelsbanken Liv states, "The demutualisaton of SPP has given us a new and very strong market position. Thus, we are creating a management team that can best exploit this position."

Following SPP's demutualisation at the end of last year, both of Handelsbanken's life insurance companies are now profit-distributing companies.
    Michael Zell notes, "This means that we probably have the market's most complete offering for occupational pensions and private customers. Combined with our successful demutualised model, this gives us an advantage that we must exploit."
 
Hence, Mr. Zell is strengthening his management team with two senior managers: Björn G Olofsson will be administrative head and Pehr Wissén has been appointed CFO.
 
Michael Zell adds, "Administration is the Achilles heel of all life insurance companies: complex systems, extensive regulations and complicated agreements result in long - in fact too long - lead times. Those companies that are best in shortening and streamlining these processes will gain an enormous market advantage. Customers avoid a long wait and we can conduct more business. However, getting there requires many years of experience of handling similar problems. Björn G Olofsson has been head of Handelsbanken's central development department for five years and I cannot think of a better person for this job."
 
"Pehr Wissén will also hold a key position. The life insurance sector throughout Western Europe is undergoing a major transformation with the transition to a new set of regulations. The sector's adaptation to the regulations affects price setting in the bond markets. The low, long-term bond yields are just one example of this development."
 
"At the moment, this is one of Handelsbanken's most crucial concerns: to successfully navigate the major changes currently affecting the sector. Pehr Wissén has the experience and competence to lead this development process."
 
Pehr Wissén and Björn G Olofsson will take up their new positions on 1 July. Before then, successors will be appointed to their current respective positions.

For further information, contact: <!-- hugin-supplied --><br> Michael Zell, chief executive, SPP and Handelsbanken Liv, tel. +46 8 701 10 00 <!-- hugin-supplied --><br> Johan Lagerström, deputy head of corporate communications, tel. +46 8 701 13 95 mobile +46 70 265 80 14

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