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Category: Forex News

Sweden’s Alecta Pension Fund Chairperson Resigns After a Week LeapRate

Carina Akerstrom has stepped down from her role as chairperson of Alecta, the largest pension fund in Sweden, merely a week after her appointment, the organisation announced on Sunday. In light of her departure, Alecta has reinstated Jan-Olof Jacke as the interim chair, a position he has held since November 2023 following the resignation of the former chair.

Kenneth Bengtsson, the chair of the nomination committee, expressed regret over Akerstrom’s decision to leave, noting her reassessment of her capability to serve effectively as Alecta’s Board Chair. While the specific reasons for Akerstrom’s resignation were not disclosed by Alecta, the pension fund clarified that there were no unmanageable conflicts of interest involved.

Akerstrom herself did not respond to inquiries for comments on her resignation.

This incident marks the second time a candidate selected for the chairperson position by the nomination committee has been unable to assume the role. Initially, the committee had to retract its recommendation of Lars Rohde, the former head of the Danish central bank, due to concerns over potential conflicts of interest linked to his acceptance of a board position at another company. Following this, Akerstrom was nominated as his replacement.

Before her brief tenure with Alecta, Akerstrom served as the CEO of Svenska Handelsbanken, a role from which she stepped down the previous year.

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In addition to the leadership changes, Alecta has been under close watch by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). The pension fund is currently the subject of two ongoing investigations by the FSA concerning its approach to risk-taking.

Alecta has faced criticism for its investment strategy, particularly its substantial investment in Heimstaden Bostad, a real estate company burdened with heavy debt. Furthermore, the pension fund’s investments in several U.S. banks, including First Republic, Silicon Valley, and Signature, which have since failed, have also drawn scrutiny.

These investments raise questions about the pension fund’s risk management practices and decision-making processes, highlighting the challenges facing Alecta in the current financial landscape. Alecta’s leadership transitions and the scrutiny it faces from regulatory authorities underscore the complex environment in which pension funds operate.

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