Finland’s Sampo Steps Up Move to Become Pure Insurance Group, Cutting Nordea Stake

By | February 24, 2021

Finnish financial group Sampo plc is continuing its transformation into a pure insurance group with an announcement that it will substantially cut its 15.9% stake in Nordea Bank.

Sampo’s board and management said the company will focus on high-quality P/C insurance operations which they view as having the greatest potential for long-term value creation.

Sampo said its holding in Nordea will be “materially reduced” over the next 18 months.

During a capital markets day (CMD) presentation held today, Sampo Group CEO Torbjörn Magnusson explained this means that Sampo’s Nordea stake will be reduced by more than half, according a group representative in an emailed statement.

Other highlights of Sampo’s strategic agenda for 2021-2023 include:

  • Organic growth of P/C underwriting profits by a mid-single digit percentage per annum on average from the 2020 level, excluding the effects of COVID-19.
  • A group combined ratio of below 86%, with a combined ratio of below 85% for its largest operation, If P&C.
  • Limiting M&A activities to bolt-on transactions.
  • A commitment to pay a dividend of at least 70% of group net profit excluding extraordinary items. For 2020, the board proposed a dividend of €1.7 per share, of which €1.6 per share was generated by the insurance operations. Going forward, Sampo will refer to this part of the group dividend as the “insurance dividend.”
  • A Solvency II ratio target of between 170% and 190% and a financial leverage below 30%.

Sampo Group comprises parent company Sampo plc and its subsidiaries If P&C Insurance Co. (headquartered in Stockholm); Hastings (the UK p/c insurer); Topdanmark (the Danish p/c and life insurer) and Mandatum Life (the Finnish insurer that offers private and corporate customers services in wealth management, rewards and personal insurance). The group companies have insurance operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Baltic countries and the UK.

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