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ATP investment chief exits for PFA; Foged named permanent CEO

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Denmark’s biggest pension fund will lose its chief investment officer later this year as Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen is set to move from ATP to PFA Pension.

The news comes as Bo Foged has been appointed permanent CEO of ATP, having led the DKK838bn (€112bn) fund since November after the resignation of Christian Hyldahl .

In addition, ATP has appointed Martin Præstegaard as deputy CEO and CFO from 1 September. He is currently head of department at the Danish finance ministry, where he has held several roles since 2002.

The shake-up follows a difficult period for ATP in which it was forced to sell its UK pension subsidiary NOW: Pensions at a loss, a few months after Hyldahl quit having come under political pressure regarding a previous role at Nordea during its involvement in a dividend tax scandal.

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PFA poaches Lorenzen

Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen

Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen

Lorenzen will join the DKK575.8bn PFA Pension in September as group investment director and CIO. He previously worked for PFA as a portfolio manager from 2004 to 2007.

He had two spells at ATP, initially as a portfolio manager from 2007 to 2012, rejoining in 2014 as a deputy director. He was appointed CIO in 2016.

Lorenzen’s role at PFA is a newly created position, PFA said in a statement. He will also take over as chairman of PFA Asset Management from group CEO Allan Polack, and become the fifth member of the company’s executive management board.

Polack said: “We have searched for a group CIO for the PFA Group both in Denmark and abroad, and I am convinced that there is no better candidate for the job than Kasper.”

In a statement issued by ATP, Lorenzen said: “The job change was not on the cards as I am happy working at ATP. But at a certain point in the process with PFA I felt that the desire to challenge myself in a more commercial field was so big that I had to jump at the offer.

“I look very much forward to the new challenges and to use my knowledge and experience to the benefit of PFA. At the same time, I am happy and proud of all that we have accomplished in ATP in the past few years.”

Foged named permanent CEO

Bo Foged

Bo Foged

ATP also announced that Bo Foged had been named CEO, having held the role on an interim basis since November. He joined ATP in 2015 as group finance director and chief operating officer after having spent six years at BankInvest Group, latterly as managing director.

Foged told IPE earlier this year that he did not want to be considered for the permanent position due to the media scrutiny involved in leading one of Europe’s biggest pension investors.

However, in his statement today, he said: “Very few CEOs have the opportunity to work as a trainee – and I must say I have become very keen to take on the task. It is exciting and challenging to lead ATP.

“The societal task, the business and not least ATP’s skilled employees and my managing colleagues have outmatched my concerns. I know what I’m letting myself in for, and I was very happy when the board asked the big question.”

Torben Andersen, chairman of ATP’s board of directors, said Foged had demonstrated “the ability, the experience and the capacity to accomplish the job”.

He added: “The requirements to ATP’s top management are many. Both from the Danish population, from the board of directors, from employees and group management at ATP and also from the authorities.

Martin Præstegaard, ATP

Martin Præstegaard

“It has been essential to us that we took the time for dialogue with relevant stakeholders and searched the market for relevant candidates – both externally and internally.”

About Præstegaard’s appointment as deputy CEO and CFO, Andersen said it would “further strengthen” ATP’s ability to meet its societal objectives, chiefly “securing basic financial security in Denmark” and “being an effective and strong provider of social benefits”.

As well as three spells at the finance ministry, Præstegaard has also worked at the Danish Economy Agency and at DR, a broadcasting company.

Further reading

Interview: ATP boss on NOW: Pensions sale and future plans
Foged spoke to IPE in February regarding the Danish pension giant’s ill-fated venture into the UK auto-enrolment sector and the possibility of a 40% boost to its inflows

ATP: A very Danish scandal
Is it possible to reach the top in the money world without getting your hands dirty? Rachel Fixsen reports on the fallout from leadership crises at ATP and Danske Bank, which left two top chief executive posts in the country’s internationally-respected financial sector lying vacant

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