Skandia reaches friendly settlement with former chair

Skandia, the Swedish insurer, has reached a friendly settlement with Lars Ramqvist, a former chairman of its compensation and audit committees, over allegations he failed to properly oversee the staff bonus scheme.

But Skandia is still investigating whether it can bring claims for damages against the former auditor and it is still in arbitration with Lars-Eric Petersson, the former chairman, over SEK546m (€50.1m) in alleged extra costs it has faced.

Skandia had taken legal advice after spending hundreds of million of Swedish kronor in investigating how a cap on its ‘Sharetracker’ and ‘Wealthbuilder’ bonus program was removed in early 2000 that led to extra money being paid out to employees.

Skandia’s board is now recommending that shareholders at its forthcoming annual general meeting on 14 April agree the settlement with Mr Ramqvist.

Mr Ramqvist has told Skandia that he accepts moral responsibility for overseeing the removal of the cap and, although he did not gain personally, will repay SEK2.2m in director’s fees he received in 2000 and 2001.

Bernt Magnusson, chairman of Skandia’s board, said: “As chairman of the board that was elected in 2004 by Skandia’s owners to straighten out the past I understand the indignation and anger that has been expressed from various directions with respect to past events at Skandia.”

Mr Magnusson said Mr Petersson had been paid SEK175m from the Sharetracker programme.

All parties were unavailable for comment.

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