Skandia, Commerzbank in German pension pact

GERMANY- Skandia Portfolio Management GmbH, the Berlin-based arm of the Swedish insurer, has started a partnership with the Commerzbank’s European Bank for Fund Services GmbH, or ebase, to reinforce its position in the German institutional market.

Through Skandia Investment Depot will co-operate with ebase, which offers a platform for depot services and outsourcing operations in the company pension scheme sector.

Among ebase’s partners are brokers, administrators and insurance companies, with about 1.3 million of deposits worth approximately seven billion euros. The bank also offers 95 KAG funds.

“Skandia Investment Depot will act as a platform to cater for the different needs of independent consultants with special solutions for company pension schemes,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Skandia’s brokers will be able to select for their customers from the entire ebase fund spectrum. Ebase, on the other hand, is to take over the administration of all Skandia depot funds by the end of the year.

Ralph Schlawatzki, head of pension schemes at Skandia, said the “excellent product offer and the possibility of complete individualisation” of ebase services had prompted Skandia’s choice.

Rudolf Geyer, a spokesman of ebase management, said: “Ebase has won a top-class strategic partner which enhances and further improves its expertise in the field of company pension schemes.”

Skandia and ebase will also launch ‘Skandia working life accounts’, which Skandia’s spokesman Pascal Bazzazi said will be characterised by ‘a minimized administration expense’.

Bazzazi explained that via working life accounts, employees can save to take sabbatical breaks. Currently such arrangements come across as costly and complicated – but the partnership hoped to attract companies with the new model.

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