SWEDEN - Pension and insurance provider Folksam is to buy the insurance portfolio of Svenska Lärarfonder, the Swedish teachers' fund manager, from rival pension and insurance company Skandia.

At the same time Skandia Bank is selling its holding in Lärarfonder to Svenska Lärarförsäkringar, the Swedish teachers' insurance provider, which will become the sole owner of the fund company from 1 January 2011.

The deal aims to strengthen Lärarfonden's offering through a long-term cooperation with Folksam. Lärarfonden can take advantage of the existing relationship between Lärarförsäkringar and Folksam in the areas of pensions and insurance.

Lars-Erik Klason, chairman of Lärarförsäkringar and member of the board at Lärarfonder, said the deal would give teachers a better overview of their pensions and insurance products.

Lars Burman, deputy CEO of Folksam, said the decision is based on the fact the various teachers' organizations are one of the largest customer groups for Folksam.

The deal will deepen the cooperation with the teacher organizations and offer a better choice of funds and support services for the individual customers.

Lärarfonder manages three funds with assets of SEK5bn (€534m), with some 100,000 customers investing in them. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Meanwhile, net-savings in funds by Swedish households fell in the third quarter, compared to the previous quarter as well as the same time last year, according to Statistics Sweden and the Swedish regulator, Finansinspektionen.

Inflows in the third quarter amounted to SEK4.3bn, compared to SEK12bn in the second quarter and SEK5.2bn in the third quarter of 2009. 

Net-savings in premium-based pension products increased for the first time this year. Inflows in the third quarter totaled SEK377 million, compared to outflows of SEK388 during the same period last year.

Total fund assets increased by SEK58bn during the third quarter to SEK1.5trn, which is an all time high.

Finally, KP Pension, owned by Folksam, is the best performing Swedish pension and insurance provider, with a return of 8.8% for the first nine months of the year.

The worst performer for the year to date is Handelsbanken Liv's newest product Handelsbanken Livs Livförvaltning, which was launched on 15 March, returning -0-1%.

The average return among all the providers and products was 6.9% for the first three quarters of the year.