AP1, one of the big four buffer funds backing Sweden’s state pension, has hired Kristin Magnusson Bernard – a former senior employee of the European Central Bank – as its new chief executive officer.

The appointment ends a period of temporary leadership for the SEK352bn (€33.2bn) Stockholm-based fund, following the sacking of its previous CEO Johan Magnusson in September for breaching the fund’s trading rules.

Urban Hansson Brusewitz, chair of the board at AP1, said: “In Kristin Magnusson Bernard, AP1 gets a CEO who combines long-standing experience from leading specialist and high-performing teams with excellent communication skills.

“Kristin possesses broad and deep experience from the financial industry, both in Sweden and an international context, where she developed strategic and analytical asset management capabilities,” he said.

However, by the time Magnusson Bernard steps into her new job, the fund will have been without a permanent CEO for a year, since she is set to start on 1 September 2020.

At that point, she will take the reins from Teresa Isele, who has been acting CEO since September 2019.

Hansson Brusewitz also said Magnusson Bernard’s strong commitment and engagement in sustainability matters would be valuable for the fund’s continued work in that field.

The incoming chief’s most recent job was country senior executive in Nordea Markets Sweden and head of macroeconomic research in Nordea, AP1 said.

After going to Nordea in 2016, she worked in several leading positions within the markets and investment banking divisions of the bank, the pension fund said.

Before that, she held senior positions at the ECB in Frankfurt as well as at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. in the US.

Magnusson Bernard said her mission as CEO of AP1 was to continue the assignment to manage the pension capital and achieve good returns, and at the same time support sustainable development.

“The Swedish national pension fund system has a very significant task and I am very proud of being part of the continued development of AP1 as a stable, responsible and active investor,” she said.

Magnusson Bernard’s appointment makes it likely that in September, three of the four main AP buffer funds – AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4 – will be led by women, since AP4 is now the only one whose chief is male.