Denmark’s DKK800bn (€107billion) statutory pension fund is losing its chief executive Carsten Stendevad, who had decided to resign for family reasons, according to a statement from the fund.
Stendevad, who lived in the US for many years before taking on the top job at ATP three years ago, and whose wife is American, plans to move back across the Atlantic, the pension fund said.
Jørgen Søndergaard, chairman of ATP’s supervisory board, said: “On behalf of the board of ATP, I would like to thank Carsten for his outstanding performance as CEO of ATP.
“Carsten commands great respect among ATP’s stakeholders, because of the strong financial results he has delivered, the organisational improvements he has undertaken, and the way he has positioned ATP in the Danish society,” he said.
The fund said its supervisory board had begun the process of searching for a replacement already, and had engaged executive search firm Amrop to help in the hunt.
It expects to find a new chief executive by the end of this year, it said, adding that Stendevad would help during the transition.
The announcement comes a day after the fund announced its half-yearly results, and Stendevad warned of a “day of reckoning” as central banks reversed the monetary policy implemented since the financial crisis began in 2008.
Stendevad said it had been an honour to serve as chief executive of “this great institution”, which played an important role in the lives of most Danes.
“For family reasons we have now decided to relocate back to the US,” he said.
“I have enjoyed every day here at ATP, and I am proud of the results that my colleagues and I have achieved,” he said, adding that his focus would now be on securing a smooth transition.
Stendevad has spearheaded several key initiatives since coming to ATP as chief executive April 2013, the pension fund said.
These projects included revising the ATP pension product and redesigning the pension fund’s overall investment strategy to include a new approach to portfolio construction, strengthening in-house investment capabilities and increasing the focus on direct investments, it said.
“In addition to delivering strong investment returns, Carsten has also overseen a significant growth in ATP’s welfare benefit processing business, while substantially reducing administrative costs,” the fund said.
Søndergaard said Stendevad was handing over an ATP that was in great shape to his successor.
“Carsten is open-minded, thoughtful and an excellent communicator, and I have enjoyed our collaboration thoroughly,” he said, adding that he was sorry Stendevad had to end his tenure at the pension fund but that he understood and respected his decision.
Before joining ATP, Stendevad was a managing director within Citi’s investment bank in New York, and has also worked at McKinsey & Co.
His other roles in Danish public life are as a member of the Danish Committee for Corporate Governance, chair of the Danish Government’s Working Group developing a stewardship code for Danish institutional investors and member of the board of UNICEF Denmark.
He was announced as successor to Lars Rohde, now governor of the Danish central bank, in December 2012.