Søren Dal Thomsen, the chief executive of Denmark’s third largest commercial pension fund, left the company yesterday after discussions with the leadership of the supervisory board about skills.

Dal Thomsen, who has been in the top executive role of the DKK104bn (€14bn) pension fund for six years, said: “After a dialogue with the supervisory board leadership, and guidance to the supervisory board on which skills AP Pension would need in the future, I reached the decision to look for new challenges.”

He described this as a “tough realisation”, but said he wished AP Pension all the best and added that the job had changed a lot since he first took it on.

Dal Thomsen has been employed at AP Pension twice — first from 2001 to 2004 as CIO, returning to the firm in 2006 after a spell at Sampension as a member of the management board, taking over the role of chief executive in 2010.

Quitting with immediate effect, Dal Thomsen is to be replaced by Bo Normann Rasmussen as new chief executive, who AP Pension said would now start work on analysing how the company’s top leadership should be composed in future.

AP Pension’s supervisory board chairman Niels Dengsø Jensen said the company had greatly appreciated Dal Thomsen’s ability to see new commercial opportunities in an investment environment where years of low interest rates had made it extremely challenging to achieve satisfactory returns. 

“We wish Søren Dal Thomsen all the best of luck in the future,” said Dengsø Jensen, who is a farmer, and chairman of DLG, a Danish co-operative society owned by Danish farmers.

Dal Thomsen told IPE he had no new job lined up yet, but was looking at his opportunities.

During the last few years under Dal Thomsen’s leadership, AP Pension has been particularly active in making investments in farmland.

In April, it proposed new deal to buy agricultural land in eastern Romania and lease it back to the Danish company FirstFarms that would be operating farms on the land.

Back in 2014, the pension fund set up a new fund to invest DKK600m in Danish agricultural land and buildings, called Dansk Farmland.

The fund aimed to buy farms and lease them back to the individual farmers running them.