Skandia Chairman Bernt Magnusson stepped down Friday, saying he did not think it was appropriate for him to continue leading the firm at a time when the majority of the board does not back his belief that selling Skandia to Old Mutual is a smart move.

"I do not consider it right to continue to lead the work of the board when there are different opinions on an important and central issue," Magnusson said in a statement. "Now that the board has decided to reject the offer for the company, it is natural and in Skandia's best interests that I hand over the chairman's gavel to someone who shares the opinion of the majority within the board."

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