SWEDEN – ABN Amro’s Scandinavian investment group Alfred Berg is to simplify its legal structure by creating a so-called European company, or Societas Europaea.

The move is based on European Union regulations that came into force in autumn 2004. It will allow the firm to turn its subsidiaries in Denmark, Finland and Norway into branches of the Swedish operational company.

“To operate with a branch structure instead of separate companies, will reduce operational risk, enhance capital efficiency and foremost increase our operational efficiency - four entities will become one, with less accounting procedures and reduced internal and external reporting,” said David Woods, managing director of Alfred Berg Holding.

“A unified platform will also increase our ability to better serve our clients and increase our product development, and with plans of a single Nordic exchange and a single Nordic settlement infrastructure, this improvement has been at the top of our minds for some time.”

A Nordic-wide management team has been appointed which is leading the transition into a branch structure, which is estimated to take effect in September 2005.

It said: “The transition into a European company will, from a client perspective, be seamless and require no actions. The changes will have no impact upon the Alfred Berg asset management business.”

The legal form of the Societas Europaea, was created by the European Council in 2001 and became law in member states in October last year – more than 30 years after negotiations for the creation of a European company were initiated.