Sweden’s third largest pension fund, AMF, announced today it is merging the life and funds sides of its asset management activities into one, to pool resources and ultimately achieve higher investment returns.

As of today, Tomas Flodén – up to now chief investment officer of AMF’s life and pensions division, AMF Pensionsförsäkringar – is chief executive officer of AMF Fonder, the investment funds subsidiary which will now conduct all of the group’s asset management, the firm said in a statement.

He has also been appointed head of overall asset management at the AMF group, it said.

AMF said: “The purpose of the merger is to strengthen AMF’s offering to all savers, by gathering expertise and resources, and to facilitate closer cooperation on strategically important issues such as sustainability and corporate governance.”

Asked whether potential returns could increase as a result of the change, Flodén told IPE: ”Yes, absolutely. That’s the whole purpose of the merger.”

Before the merger, the assets managed by AMF Fonder and AMF Pensionsförsäkringar were handled separately, he said, with the exception of corporate governance where he said some collaboration took place.

AMF currently manages SEK800bn (€78.4bn), including SEK600bn in traditional life insurance and SEK200bn in mutual funds, he said.

Asked if the new combined division would be able to achieve economies of scale, and whether the extra volume would give AMF access to more investment opportunities, Flodén said that above all, AMF was “looking forward  to coming together as one organisation to amplify our combined capabilities”.

“I’m certain that we will be even better at strategic allocation and active positions, and be able to act more powerful as owner to create long-term returns,” he said.

Regarding the real estate operation AMF Fastigheter, he said that though a fully-owned subsidiary of AMF, it was part of the asset portfolio managed by AMF’s asset management – AMF Fonder.

Åsa Kjellander is to continue as chair of the new AMF Fonder, according to today’s announcement, and the current asset management staff at AMF Pensionsförsäkringar will be transferred to AMF Fonder as of today.

Anders Oscarsson will be head of equities and ownership in the new organisation, Katarina Romberg head of alternative investments and property, AMF said, while Bengt Björkén will be head of fixed income assets and Magnus Jonasson head of allocation.

All four are transferring to AMF Fonder in the same role they fulfilled at the life and pensions company.

AMF said the managers responsible for AMF’s funds would remain in place at the respective funds.

Per Wiklund, who has been acting CEO of AMF Fonder, is returning to his previous role as deputy CEO and chief of staff for the company, the firm said, with Christoffer Axelsson being administrative manager and Ebba Hammarström risk manager.

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