Sweden's AP7 buys 5% of SRI firm Ethix

SWEDEN - The five billion-euro Sjunde AP-fonden, the seventh Swedish national pension fund, has bought five percent of socially responsible investment research company Ethix SRI Advisors for one million crowns.

Peter Norman, executive president at AP7, told IPE the deal with the Stockholm-based company had been signed earlier this week.

“We think it is good for our savers to go on with this acquisition, because it will be a good return source in the long run. We wanted stability and good returns,” Norman said.

IPE reported in December last year that the fund was eyeing a possible a stake in Ethix.

“Ethical and environmental considerations are an integral part of our responsible investments. Our stake in Ethix is a sign of our commitment to SRI and its development,” Norman said today.

AP7’s SRI investments are now in the hands of GES Investment Services - which has recently had its contract with the fund renewed – as well as Ethix.

SG Asset Management, a subsidiary of Société Générale, also bought an equal stake to develop its services.

“We are committed to providing a broad range of excellent services to clients in the Nordic region and globally,” said SGAM managing director Jérôme de Dax.

“We are delighted to have AP7 and SG Asset Management on board, playing an active role in strengthening the global SRI market. AP7 has been fundamental in the Nordic SRI development,” said Ethix president Tord Carnlöf, who funded the firm in 2003 with Ulrika Hasselgren and Pernilla Ström.

The three partners, who had founded the Etikanalytikerna company, developed the screening model Global Ethical Standard with the help of AP7. They set up Ethix when Etikanalytikerna was acquired by CaringCompany–Etikanalytikerna.

Ethix and its partner Innovest Strategic Value Advisors have a team of 50 and has also entered a cooperation with Hewitt Associates affiliate Wassum. Things with Wassum “are going pretty well” Hasselgren told IPE.

Hasselgren also said: “When we decided to have this deal with institutional investors we said we would like a broad co-operation, so Ethix is not closed to other institutional investors.”

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