Skandia is looking to expand its presence in the Australian market by creating a new ‘strategy’ division to consider enhancing its product range to include growth pensions, retirement income offerings and local versions of existing products available in the 25 countries the broader group operates in.
As part of the move, head of distribution Charles Magro will move into a newly created head of strategy and product role, with the group on the cusp of appointing a new head of distribution having made an offer to an unnamed industry executive.
“Growth pensions and retirement income strategies will be high on my agenda, [while] part of my new role is also to explore new markets, and as we’re in 25 different countries, have a look at how other countries do things and see what we can bring into Australia at no cost,” Magro says.
According to Magro, the move is not a reaction to increased competition in the space Skandia currently operates in but rather is part of an expansion to grow its existing business.
“The company is happy with the sales it’s getting but felt somebody needed to be looking beyond this to take advantage of any opportunities that are out there,” he says.
Magro, who was the second appointment to Skandia’s start-up Australian operation when it kicked off in June 2000, will transition into the new role over the coming months, with the timing dependent on when the new head of distribution joins the group.
The Skandia distribution team currently comprises of 15 business development managers throughout Australia and the firm has $1.5 billion in funds under management.