SWEDEN – Sweden’s third national buffer fund, the 142.5 billion-crown (15.5 billion-euro) AP3, says chief investment officer and deputy chief executive Niklas Ekvall is to leave and join investment bank Carnegie.

Ekvall’s move follows the departure of both the fund’s CEO and chairman in the last seven months. Chief executive Tomas Nicolin said in February that he would leave to join occupational pensions provider Alecta. In September 2003, the government fired fund chairman Johan Bjorkman.

The fund, which made a 16.2% return on investments in 2003, says Nicolin will leave at the end of this month and be replaced on an interim basis by chief operating officer Sven Askenberger from May 1.

Carnegie said in a statement that Ekvall, deputy CEO at AP3 for five years, has been appointed head of asset management and would join its group management.

Carnegie added that it would split its asset management and private banking units into two business areas to “further focus and create value added to clients”.

“I am delighted to be able to present a person from our industry with Niklas’ solid experience,” said Carnegie CEO Karin Forseke.

“I am convinced that Niklas together with our Nordic team in asset management will be able to contribute further to asset management’s positive development and to our products.”

“I am looking forward to start working for Carnegie,” Ekvall said. “My broad practical and theoretical background from financial instruments and markets will hopefully be a positive contribution.”