The story of Sampo began in 1909. This brief history of Sampo encapsulates all of the relevant milestones of Sampo Group - from the early years prior to Finland’s independence right through to the present day. 

Early 2020s will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on society, economy, businesses and the lives of ordinary people.

Early 2020s will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on society, economy, businesses and the lives of ordinary people. 

Photo: Hastings became a fully-owned subsidiary of Sampo in 2021.

Hastings became a fully-owned subsidiary of Sampo in 2021.

Sampo began the new decade with a change in management when If’s CEO Torbjörn Magnusson took up the post of Group CEO in January 2020.

The economic outlook initially seemed good at the start of the decade and many stock exchange indexes reached new highs. However, a new virus in China began to spread worldwide and a pandemic was declared in spring 2020 with increased uncertainty reflected in the stock exchanges, and stock prices – including those of financial companies – plummeted as the health situation deteriorated.

In part due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with low interest rates, Sampo had to cancel its previous dividend proposal and announce a new lower proposal for 2019. However, Sampo was ultimately one of just a handful of financial companies that paid any dividends at all for 2019, as the pandemic played havoc with markets around the globe.

In August 2020, Sampo and the South African investment company RMI announced a joint bid for the UK vehicle insurer Hastings. The acquisition meant expansion of Sampo’s P&C insurance business and it gives the group a foothold in the UK market, which is many times larger than the Nordic P&C insurance markets. In December 2021, Sampo acquired RMI's minority ownership is Hastings and the option held by RMI to acquire 10 per cent of the company. Consequently, Hastings became a fully-owned subsidiary of Sampo. 

In November 2020, Sampo started to decrease its stake in Nordea by selling a stake to institutional investors with an accelerated bookbuild offering. The stake was further reduced gradually until Sampo completed its Nordea-exit in April 2022. 

Following the sale of our Nordea stake, Sampo had excess capital that it did not need in its insurance operations and hence the company has gradually returned the capital to the shareholders in form of ordinary dividends, extra dividends and share buybacks between 2022 and 2023.

Another milestone in the Group’s history was reached in November 2022, when trading of Sampo SDRs was launched on Nasdaq Stockholm. With the dual-listing, the company aims to grow investor demand and Sampo share’s liquidity for the benefit of all shareholders. Sampo did not raise new capital nor made any offering in connection with the dual listing.

In December 2022, Sampo announced that the Board of Directors had decided to undertake a strategic review of Mandatum in line with Sampo’s strategic focus on P&C insurance, with the aim to evaluate whether a separation of Mandatum could create shareholder value. Sampo expects to provide a further update on the strategic review by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

In 2023, Sampo’s business consists of four segments: If, which is the largest P&C insurer in the Nordic Countries; the Danish P&C insurance company Topdanmark and P&C insurer Hastings in the UK as well as Mandatum, which focuses on life insurance and asset management in Finland. If, Mandatum and Hastings are fully-owned by Sampo plc, while Topdanmark is partly-owned with almost 49 per cent stake.