Bernt Magnusson Comments on Recommendation Made by Skandia's Board to the Annual General Meeting

Stockholm, SWEDEN


STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 16, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Today Skandia's board released the Board's report to the Annual General Meeting regarding the settlement with Lars Ramqvist and the Board's position regarding directors' liability with respect to former company directors. From this report it is noted that the Board has recommended that the Annual General Meeting approve the settlement with Lars Ramqvist. Further, it is reported why the Board will not be initiating any actions regarding any other former directors.

With respect to Skandia's former auditors, the investigation has not yet been completed.

Commenting on the Board's recommendation to the Annual General Meeting, Bernt Magnusson, Chairman of the Board of Skandia, says:

"As chairman of the board that was elected in 2004 by Skandia's owners to straighten out the past, but also -- and primarily -- to conduct Skandia's business moving forward, I understand the indignation and anger that has been expressed from various directions with respect to past events at Skandia.

"At the same time, the primary obligation of the Board is to look after the financial interests of Skandia's shareholders and customers who have invested their pension savings with Skandia. A large proportion of Skandia's shareholders are pension institutions. The visible cost of the investigative and analysis work that was required by the need to sort out things that had happened at Skandia under the former management is quickly approaching a couple-hundred million kronor. But the hidden, indirect cost -- the time and energy that all of these processes are draining from the company -- is considerably larger.

"The settlement with Lars Ramqvist is essentially the same agreement that the Swedish government reached with former directors of Nordbanken during the financial crisis. And in this context it can be noted that the credit losses suffered by the bank -- due among other things to poor board work -- were infinitely greater than the bonus payments made by Skandia.

"The extensive legal analysis that has been reported today takes into account two factual matters that are often overlooked in the debate. The one is the fact that the chief prosecutor has laid down his criminal investigation of Ramqvist. The chief prosecutor could not prove intent or crime, and Ramqvist had no personal gain in what had occurred. The other is that in connection with the settlement, false information had been spread to the effect that the chief prosecutor had determined that Ramqvist had caused loss to Skandia in the amount of SEK 546 million. This figure pertains to the cost incurred by Skandia from the failure to apply a cap for the Wealthbuilder compensation programme. In the Board's opinion, this liability issue should be resolved in the arbitration process currently being conducted with Lars-Eric Petersson. As previously disclosed, Petersson's outcome from the Sharetracker programme was approximately SEK 175 million."

For further information, please contact:

Skandia's Chairman, Bernt Magnusson, Vice Chairman, Bjorn Bjornsson, and General Counsel, Jan-Mikael Bexhed, will be available during the day to answer any questions from the media. To notify such interest, please contact Skandia's press manager, Gunilla Svensson, tel. +46-8-788 25 00This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net

The following files are available for download:

http://wpy.waymaker.net/client/waymaker1/WOLReleaseFile.aspx?id=80283&fn=wkr0001.pdf



        

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