Subsidiaries and holding companies

The Arion Bank Group consists of the parent company Arion Bank and the subsidiaries Stefnir and Vörður. The payment solutions company Valitor was sold during the year, subject to the approval of the Icelandic Competition Authority, after a sale process going back several years. The subsidiaries Vörður and Stefnir perform key roles in the Bank’s service offering and future strategy. Together, Arion Bank and subsidiaries offer customers comprehensive financial services via diverse and convenient service channels. Vörður and Stefnir are based at Arion Bank’s headquarters. The holding companies Landey, Stakksberg and Sólbjarg are owned by Arion Bank and were established around acquired assets which have either been sold or are in the process of being sold.



Vörður tryggingar hf. is a general insurance company offering convenient insurance solutions to individuals, families and corporate customers. In recent years Vörður has seen a huge increase in its customer base, and by the end of 2021 the company had 64,000 customers. The company’s market share has grown steadily, and through its close partnership with Arion Bank, the company fully intends to maintain its forward momentum. At the end of the year Vörður had 109 employees.

For the second consecutive year, the customers and employees of Vörður have had to adapt to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the company was able to draw upon the experience gained in the previous year, and although some aspects of service undoubtedly suffered, the business nevertheless performed well under the circumstances. The digital solutions developed in recent years have proven absolutely invaluable, and with their help our customers are able to attend to many of their insurance needs at any time of the day or night.

Sustainability and social responsibility

Towards the end of the year Vörður received the motivation prize from the University of Iceland and the Confederation of Icelandic Employers for its contribution to equality. The jury said:

“Vörður has made a concerted effort to improve equality at the company in recent years. The company has resolved to be an equality role model in the Icelandic business sector and encourages others to do the same. The company was rated 10 out 10 by GEMMAQ Gender Lens, and the company has strived to gain certification and to implement software which supports greater equality. The company believes that its working methods promote fairness and equality, with equal rights of men and women being visible throughout the business. The company also has the goal of eliminating gender-based discrimination wherever it exists and of promoting equality and human rights at all times. Finally, the company has adopted ambitious goals for equality in the future.”

This award is confirmation of the excellent work carried out in recent years and provides a strong incentive to employees to continue along the same path. Vörður will continue to invest time and effort in sustainability and social issues in order to have a positive impact on Icelandic society.

In 2021 Vörður was awarded the Equality Scale, an initiative created by the Association of Women Business Leaders in Iceland (FKA), for the second time, and was named as one of the companies of the year for the third year in a row by the union VR. It was also recognized once again as a model company in corporate governance. Such accolades serve a vital role in providing an incentive for everyone at the company to continue to improve the business. Information security is critically important for an insurance company and the company has been certified according to ISO 27001 on information security management since 2016.

Operating results

Vörður continued to perform well in 2021. As life returned to normal, the number of insurance claims increased, up 600 to more than 19,000 claims in total. Claim-related expenses increased by 13% from the previous year. No major claims were made during the year, with the exception of a ISK 75 million claim for water damage at an unoccupied hotel. The rise in claims was counterbalanced by the strong growth of the company’s premiums, and a sharp rise in the number of customers, both households and companies. The company posted solid operating results, with investment assets, particularly shares, performing well.

Tasks ahead

The digital journey will continue, and the company’s digital solutions are designed to complement more traditional services where the customer can contact the company’s specialists directly and benefit from their expertise. In the new year Vörður will step up its partnership with Arion Bank, so that customers of both companies are able to obtain all their financial services in a single location. The company has ambitious targets and aims to become the third largest insurance company in Iceland within a few years.


Stefnir is one of Iceland’s oldest fund managers and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021. Stefnir builds on a successful and valuable track record and has been creating value with its clients for decades. Stefnir has been a pioneer in product development on the fund management market and has created success for its clients responsibly through dedicated teamwork. The company is wholly owned by Arion Bank and related companies and is based at the Bank’s headquarters. The company has assets of approximately ISK 288 billion under management which are owned by a diverse group of investors, from private individuals to Iceland's largest institutional investors. Stefnir had 21 employees at the end of 2021.

Assets under management
ISK bn.

Assets under management increased by approximately ISK 58 billion during the year, from ISK 230 billion to ISK 288 billion. One third of this increase stems from the influx in to new products, in addition to solid investment returns across all asset classes, particularly equities. In 2021 there was a huge increase in the number of fund members at Stefnir, due to a successful marketing campaign, growing public interest in the securities markets and the fact that Stefnir funds became accessible via the Arion app. Assets under management are well distributed between asset classes and the company’s revenue structure is in line with the board's objectives.

More information on Stefnir funds can be found in the chapter on Markets.

Responsible investment and the role of Stefnir

Stefnir’s role is to manage its clients’ assets as best serves their interests. Responsible investment, diverse investment options and thorough disclosure of information are central to the corporate social responsibility to which Stefnir is committed. By paying due attention to environmental and social issues and good corporate governance, Stefnir believes it can have a positive influence on society, to the benefit of fund members and other stakeholders.

The board of directors of Stefnir adopted a policy on responsible investments and it forms an integral part of the investment process and asset allocation. The main aim of product development is to offer responsible investment options in response to our clients’ wishes. All Stefnir employees and the board of directors have completed a course with PRI Academy which is the global leader in training on responsible investment.

The board of directors of Stefnir is committed to good corporate governance and has resolved to promote responsible behaviour and corporate culture within Stefnir for the benefit of all the company’s stakeholders. In 2012 Stefnir became the first Icelandic company to be named as a model company in good corporate governance and it has maintained this position ever since.


Valitor was founded in 1983 and is an international payment solutions company which provides its customers with diverse services in the field of acquiring, gateway and point of sale services and issuing. The company’s headquarters are in Iceland but it also has operations in the United Kingdom. In 2021 the international fintech company Rapyd reached an agreement with Arion Bank to acquire Valitor hf. The acquisition was subject to the approval of the Icelandic Competition Authority. The ICA was expected to make known its decision by the end of 2021 but this did not materialize. Rapyd and Arion Bank therefore extended their agreement until 1 May 2022.

Holding companies


Landey is a property development company owned by SRL slhf., a fund managed by Stefnir hf.

Since it was founded in 2009 Landey has been involved in the ownership of various properties and development projects. The company’s assets currently include building lots and properties in various locations in the Greater Reykjavík area.

The company’s objective is to increase the value of its properties through the continued development of these sites.


Sólbjarg is a holding company of the former travel group TravelCo hf. whose subsidiaries were Terra Nova Sól ehf., Heimsferðir ehf. and TravelCo Nordic/Bravo Tours.

Sólbjarg completed the sale of Terra Nova Sól ehf. in the first quarter of 2020.

A purchase agreement was signed with Ferðaskrifstofa Íslands ehf. in December 2020 on the sale of all operations of Heimsferðir ehf. and its brands. The final sale is subject to the approval of the Icelandic Competition Authority. Sólbjarg will remain a minority owner in Ferðaskrifstofa Íslands ehf. if the sale goes ahead.

During the fourth quarter of 2021 Sólbjarg ehf. sold its 59.4% holding in the Danish travel agent Bravo Tours 1998 A/S.


Stakksberg ehf. is a company owned by Arion Bank, which in early 2018 took over the operations of silicon plant at Helguvík from the estate of United Silicon. The Environment Agency of Iceland had shut down operations at the plant in September 2017 owing to shortcomings which resulted in breaches of the plant’s operating licence.

All necessary operating permits and an agreement on electricity supply have been transferred to Stakksberg, and the company has devised an action plan to remedy operations at the plant, which has been approved by the Environment Agency of Iceland. Stakksberg has also carried out a new environmental assessment impact for the plant. The new EIA will apply to the corrective action and modifications to the plant which are designed to meet the Environment Agency of Iceland’s demands under the action plan.

Since taking over the operations of the silicon plant in Helguvík, Arion Bank has looked into various possible scenarios concerning the plant’s future. The Bank’s aim has been either to find competent parties with recognized experience of silicon plants to acquire the silicon plant and take over its running or to find another solution which would not involve the recommencing of operations at the plant.

Arion Bank and PCC, the owner of the silicon plant near Húsavík, signed a letter of intent on the possible acquisition of the Helguvík plant by PCC. The letter of intent is valid until 1 July 2022 and until then PCC will perform various due diligences. There is a certain amount of opposition to the reopening of the plant in the town of Reykjanesbær, and this opposition is one of the things which due diligence will be looking into.