Swiss Life Select and the Austrian consumers association VKI reach agreement to settle litigation in Austria
By mutual consent and under a voluntary mediation process sponsored by the court, Swiss Life Select and the Austrian consumers association VKI have terminated legal proceedings arising from the civil litigation known as "collective actions”, which had been pending in Austria for a number of years.
The process began with a mutual review by both parties of the claims made. Their different perspectives on the cases came to light in extensive discussions, leading to the exclusion of those claims which had no basis. In the framework of these discussions Swiss Life Select defined individual solutions for the different case categories. The settlement amount was determined on the basis of specific investor characteristics as well as social aspects. "The different perspectives on the cases enabled an agreement. The settlement of this longstanding legal dispute means we can now give our full attention to the needs of our customers," says Eric Samuiloff, Head of Swiss Life Select Österreich GmbH.
The agreement was based on differential damage of EUR 23 million relating to a price of EUR 3.103 for the Immofinanz shares in question. Payment of the EUR 11 144 000 settlement will be made to VKI to whom the investors had assigned their rights. After the deduction of all associated costs including payment of the quota to FORIS, the company which financed the legal proceedings, VKI will be able to distribute about EUR 7 million among the investors. The individual payments will be allocated by VKI according to the agreement between VKI and the investors and is not part of the settlement agreement.
"We are very content with this outcome as it is quick and it allows VKI to pay out 30% of the differential damage to the consumers. We have also concluded that Swiss Life Select, with its current flat hierarchical structure, is no longer comparable with the former AWD multi-level marketing sales structure," says Dr. Josef Kubitschek, the Head of VKI.
In light of this settlement the allegation of systematic misleading advice is not upheld. The present agreement represents a full and final settlement of all claims of the investors in connection with the "collective actions".
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The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions providers. In its core markets of Switzerland, France and Germany, Swiss Life offers individuals and corporations comprehensive and individual advice plus a broad range of own and partner products through its sales force and distribution partners such as brokers and banks.
The Swiss Life Select, tecis, HORBACH, Proventus and Chase de Vere advisors choose suitable products for customers from the market according to the Best Select approach. Swiss Life Asset Managers offers institutional and private investors access to investment and asset management solutions. Swiss Life provides multinational corporations with employee benefits solutions and high net worth individuals with structured life and pensions products.
Swiss Life Holding Ltd, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as Schweizerische Rentenanstalt. The shares of Swiss Life Holding Ltd are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The Swiss Life Group employs a workforce of around 7000, with approximately 4500 certified financial advisors.
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