FINLAND/NORWAY – In anticipation of a merger between the Finnish financial services group Sampo and the Norwegian asset manager and pension insurance house Storebrand, Peter Johansson, the current head of corporate planning at Sampo, has been appointed as chief financial officer of the company as of August 1. The merger would create one of the largest asset managers in the Nordic area.

It was also announced that Oluf Ulseth, head of corporate planning at Storebrand, will be appointed as head of corporate planning of the fused company if the merger goes through. Matti Ruohonen, current chief financial officer of the Finnish company, will transfer to the independent Helsinki based life insurance firm Veritas Henkivakuutus (Verdandi until August 30) as its managing director.

Yesterday, Sampo published its cash and share offer to Storebrand’s shareholders, which allows the owners of Storebrand to get either NOK75 (e9.44) per share or 0.9 Sampo A shares for each Storebrand share. The cash proportion is around 77%, or NOK16bn, of the offered deal.

The merger is still in the hands of Storebrand shareholders, of whom 90% have to approve the deal. Some shareholders of the company, as well as the Norwegian government, have expressed their dislike for the deal in public and would prefer the manager to stay in domestic hands.