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Folksam Liv chairman to step down to avoid conflict of interest

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The chairman of Swedish insurer and pensions provider Folksam Liv is to step down in April because of possible conflicts of interest due to his chairmanship of major Swedish bank Swedbank.

Anders Sundström has announced he will resign as chairman of Folksam Liv – the main life-insurance subsidiary of the Folksam group – at the company’s next annual general meeting in April. 

The company said in a statement that its nomination committee would propose a new chairman at the meeting.

Sundström was president and chief executive at Folksam from 2004 to 2013, and was subsequently elected as chairman of Folksam Liv in April this year.

A spokesman for Folksam said Sundström had taken on the role of chairman at Folksam Liv to stabilise management as Jens Henriksson – the new chief executive of the group’s two main units, Folksam Liv and Folksam Sak (non-life) – settled into his role. 

However, it was no longer seen as necessary for Sundström to stay, the spokesman said.

Since there was a conflict of interest inherent in holding the role of chairman of Folksam Liv while at the same time serving as chairman of the board of Swedbank, Sundström decided the best thing was to resign the Folksam position, the spokesman said.

Folksam is the largest shareholder in Swedbank. 

Sundström will continue in his roles as chairman of Swedbank and chairman of cooperative organisation Kooperativa Förbundet (KF), the spokesman said.

Folksam is closely connected to Swedish cooperative and trade union organisations, having started as an insurance branch of KF.

It runs Sweden’s main local government pension scheme KPA Pension and owns 60% of it.

Its life and non-life subsidiaries are incorporated as mutual organisations.

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