Nordea Liv & Pension, the Danish pension provider, has unveiled a new brand to distinguish itself in the country’s highly competitive pensions market as it prepares to become 100% customer owned.

The company is to be renamed “Velliv” (Well Life) this autumn, the company said last week.

It has grown away from Nordea, its Nordic banking group parent, in the past two years, undergoing structural changes as an association owned by Nordea Liv & Pension’s customers gradually bought the business from Nordea Life Holding.

The association, Norliv — previously called Foreningen NLP — upped the 25% stake it bought in Nordea Liv & Pension in 2016 to 70% this January. At the same time it announced that Norliv’s ownership would increase to 100% in the next few years.

As part of the name change, Norliv is also rebranding to Velliv Foreningen (association).

Anne Broeng, chair of Nordea Liv & Pension’s supervisory board, said: “We have a strong foundation to build on as a customer-owned company.”

The business’ three sources of return – a competitive investment strategy, the interest rate from DinKapital, and the first cash bonus from the association Norliv – were now a reality, she said.

“We have a value offer that is interesting for existing and new customers,” she added.

Nordea Liv & Pension had DKK224bn (€30bn) in total assets at the end of 2017, ranking it as Denmark’s fifth largest pensions provider according to IPE’s 2017 Top 1000 survey (not including the statutory pension fund ATP).

Norliv passes 80% of its investment returns to members as a cash bonus through Nordea Liv & Pension, and donates the remaining 20% to mental health charities chosen by Norliv’s members.

Peter Gæmelke, Norliv’s chairman and deputy chairman of Nordea Liv & Pension, said the name “Velliv” matched the essence of the association’s activities.

“We want to contribute to a good life through activities that promote good mental health,” he said.

In an article in Danish news service Finans, Søren Andersen, actuary and director of Danish pensions consultancy FPension, said the new business structure gave Velliv an advantage in terms of return of roughly 20 basis points.

“The company is ahead of the bank-owned firms from the start in this respect, because its owners send most of its return on to the customers,” he said.

However, Velliv’s biggest challenge would be in maintaining its level of return, Andersen added.

“Up until now they have been able to lean on Nordea’s asset management, and it will be exciting to see how the company goes on without Nordea purely from an investment point of view,” he said.