Skandia brought its first product to the Australian market today, the company announced. Australian Skandia, a subsidiary established by Skandia in June 2000, launched Skandia Global Investment Solutions, an investment product that will seek to offer Australian investors greater global investment options, according to the company.

"This is the first of many investment solutions Australian Skandia is introducing," said Ross Laidlaw, managing director of Australian Skandia. "As a member of the global Skandia group, with operations in over 20 countries, we are able to pick up on worldwide trends faster than local competitors. Being part of a globally focused long-term savings company also gives us access to global buying power, global fund structures, global research capabilities and leading-edge technology."

Following the launch of Skandia Global Investment Solutions, Australian Skandia plans to introduce several retirement and superannuation products, including employer-sponsored superannuation offering early next year, the company said. Skandia Global Investment Solutions and the other investments that Australian Skandia will introduce will be sold through independent financial advisors, according to the company. That segment of the industry in Australia grew 33 % in 1999 and new estimates indicate continued growth, according to the Australian Financial Planning Association.

Establishing a presence in Australia is part of Skandia's global positioning strategy, according to Jan Carendi, chairman of Australian Skandia and CEO of Skandia's New Markets division. "The launch of Australian Skandia is consistent with Skandia New Markets' global long-term savings concept of specialists in cooperation," said Carendi. "I am very confident that we will set a new benchmark as a state-of-the-art provider of multi-managed quality savings products for the fast-growing Australian market."

Australian Skandia has also launched the Skandia Morningstar Global Style Box, a tool designed to analyze funds for the first time by size, style and global/regional diversification, and the Skandia Adviser Model Portfolios, an IT service which allows financial planners to create and manage customized portfolios, according to the company.

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