American Skandia will soon discontinue sales of its qualified plan and flexible premium variable life products, the firm said today. The move to shut down those lines will affect approximately 40 positions, though the Shelton, Conn.-based firm hopes to relocate many of those employees internally. The company will continue selling its single premium variable life policy.

Mutual funds and variable annuities have carried the weight for the company; those two lines account for 90% of sales and all profits.

"By focusing on these key industry segments, we’ll be able to leverage our existing strengths by dedicating resources to core products and bolstering our relationships in the broker-dealer community. This move will make American Skandia a stronger company-one that’s more responsive to its clients and better able to maximize growth," said Wade Dokken, president and CEO, in a statement.

The firm intends on boosting its sales force to 74, a decision that follows a December layoff, which eliminated 11 wholesaling positions, many dedicated to qualified plans and variable life. American Skandia is also looking to fill the position of director of sales, left vacant earlier this week when Bayard Tracy resigned.

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