Peter Dahlgren, head of SEB's Institutional Clients unit, rang the bell at the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm Stock Exchange soon after 9am when the bank's first three ETFs, under the SpotR family name, were listed.
The launch sees SEB entering a market monopolised by Handlesbanken – the only supplier once HQ withdrew its offering – prompting many commentators in the Swedish media to refer to the situation as a battle of the giants.
Dahlgren, however, says: "The media sees this as a fight between two players, but we don't see it like that. We see it as a good step in growing our savings offering. We are in a very strong position to be successful in this market, with a wide range of skills and competence across the bank."
SEB is initially offering three ETFs, each tracking the performance of the top 30 companies listed on the Stockholm exchange: SpotR OMXS30, SpotR Bull OMX S30 for an expected upturn in the market and SpotR Bear OMXS30 for an expected down turn in the market. It is anticipated that additional ETFs will be added to the portfolio, both in Sweden and abroad.
"We really believe in these products and this market," Dahlgren says. "We see demand from our clients, across all client types, from retail to institutions, and we believe they will be very happy to see us entering the market.
"We have a strong strategy to grow our savings offerings, and ETFs are essential for us to provide a holistic approach to our customers."