AP7, the largest of Sweden’s mighty national pension funds, today revealed who will take over from Richard Gröttheim when the veteran chief executive officer retires next year - Pål Bergström.

Bergström, who is head of large companies and institutions at Swedbank, will become CEO of the SEK855bn (€79.5bn) pension fund by 1 July 2023, with Gröttheim remaining in place until then, according to a statement from AP7, one of the top-ten pensions funds in Europe

Per Frennberg, chair of the AP7 board, said: “We are very happy to have recruited Pål Bergström to AP7.

“He is a proven good leader with analytical sharpness and broad experience from both private and state operations in the Swedish capital market,” he said.

Bergström said he felt honoured to be entrusted with responsibility for a central institution in the Swedish pension system.

“For many years, I have been able to follow the business in various positions and have great respect for the results achieved in terms of both asset management and sustainability work,” he said.

Outlining Bergström’s career history, AP7 said he had held various positions at Svenska Handelsbanken, as well as having been head of the financial markets department at the Swedish Ministry of Finance and deputy chief economist at the country’s National Debt Office.

Gröttheim’s forthcoming departure was announced at the beginning of September. He has led AP7, the default provider in Sweden’s defined-contribution premium-pension system, for 12 years, having previously been deputy CEO since 2000 when the fund started.

Gröttheim said it was the right time to bring his “operational career” to a close.

Bergström will be taking the top job at AP7 during a spell of major change both for the pension fund and the first-pillar premium pension system as a whole.

Last month, Sweden’s parliament approved a bill on changes to AP7’s mandate, increasing the fund’s opportunities to invest in alternative assets. Meanwhile, the private funds platform of the premium pension system is in the process of switching to a procured system from one where all fund providers meeting the criteria could sell their products.

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