PFA Pension, the largest commercial pensions provider in Denmark, has hired former government special adviser, or “spin doctor”, Janne Bram Jensen in the newly created role of regulatory affairs director, in a bid to influence regulators increasingly turning their sights towards the pensions sector.
Bram Jensen started her new job at PFA Pension in January, having come to the DKK552bn (€73.9bn) mutually owned pensions firm from her role as deputy head of the Mayor of Copenhagen’s secretariat.
Before that, she was a special adviser to the Social-Democrat minister for the environment Kirsten Brosbøl.
According to PFA, her new role is to professionalise the work with regulatory affairs in PFA, build relationships with politicians, officials and other decision makers in Denmark and in the EU, and contribute to the public debate around change in the legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector.
PFA has created a new department in which Bram Jensen will work, having broadened its public affairs department into the new regulatory affairs department.
Back in October, PFA’s chief executive Allan Polack indicated the company was in the process of deciding how its communications and public affairs activities should be organised, following the sudden departure of its director for group communication and public affairs, Morten Jeppesen.
Bram Jensen told IPE: “The great tsunami of regulation aimed at the banking sector following the financial crisis has now hit the pension providers.”
The Danish FSA (Finanstilsynet) now has an increasing focus on pension providers, she said, adding that new rules now being put in place are aimed at putting the sector into a tighter regulatory framework.
“The issue is not only that politicians are currently legislating to bring about these tighter regulatory conditions for the pensions sector but also that the FSA itself is creating more restrictive rules within the mandate it has already been given by Parliament,” she said.
Bram Jensen said PFA was one of the first to hire regulatory lobbyists in the Danish pensions sector.
“In the banking sector, it is quite normal to have public affairs people who have this role, but here in the pensions sector it is not very widespread,” she said.
The increasingly onerous financial regulation affecting pension funds and providers can lead to big costs for the businesses, Bram Jensen said.
“Since PFA is the largest pension provider in Denmark, we are in quite a unique position to be able to influence the decision makers who are putting these rules in place,” she said.