Skandia: "A Bit More Down to Earth"

The Swedish insurer got too caught up in volume thinking, says CFO Jan Erik Back. Now, the focus is on profitability as well

The fortunes of Swedish insurance giant Skandia have finally taken a turn for the better. The shift comes after a rocky period in which the insurer endured sluggish economic conditions, the sale of its prized U.S. unit, and investigations into executive impropriety. Earlier this month, an independent inquiry commissioned by the company found that former Skandia executives concealed bonuses and allowed family members to use corporate apartments. But those officials, who have denied wrongdoing, are long gone. Meantime, sales are rising, cash flow is improving, and a new board is expected to be nominated soon (see BW Online, 12/15/03, "Skandia Comes In from the Cold").

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