Sweden’s biggest pension fund, battling to save its reputation following investment disasters, is proposing a board reshuffle that shifts the balance towards independent members but sticking for now with its current chair, although he is still seen as a temporary incumbent.

In an announcement yesterday afternoon ahead of a board meeting set for 25 April, Alecta said Bo Kratz, Heléne Robson, Hans Fahlin and Viveka Strangert were being proposed as new members of the 10-person board.

Six existing board members are being proposed for re-election, it said, including current board chair Jan-Olof Jacke.

Kenneth Bengtsson, chair of Alecta’s supervisory board – the highest of Alecta’s three boards – and convener of the SEK1.24trn (€107bn) occupational pension provider’s preparatory committee (beredningsnämnd), said: “The preparatory committee proposes four new names to Alecta’s board, three of which are independent, which in different ways strengthen the board’s competence and experience.

“They can contribute to continuing to develop and strengthen Alecta,” he said.

Jacke, chief executive officer of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, was made Alecta’s chair after the sudden departure of Ingrid Bonde from that role at the beginning of October, but it has been clear he is only in the role pending the appointment of a permanent new chair who is independent of the two collective bargaining sides on whose behalf Alecta operates.

Jan-Olof jacke

Jan-Olof Jacke, CEO of Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Alecta’s chair

Alecta said the preparatory committee decided there had not been enough time between Carina Åkerström’s resignation as chair and the ordinary board meeting for an adequate recruitment process for a new board chair.

“Jan-Olof Jacke, in his capacity as first vice-chair, has taken over as chair of the board, and the committee’s assessment is that this works well,” the pension fund said.

The proposal is for Jacke to be elected chair up to the 2025 meeting, or earlier if a new chair is elected at an extraordinary board meeting, it said.

Åkerström’s resignation was the second time this year Alecta failed to secure a candidate for the top role after announcing them – with its proposal for Lars Rohde having been withdrawn at the end of January.

The four proposed new board members are to replace Martin Linder, who resigned in December linked to health problems; and Richard Malmborg, Magnus von Koch and Petra Hedengran – with these latter three having declined re-election, Alecta said.

Three of the four exiting board members represented trade union interests, whereas three of the four new candidates are independent of both the labour and employer sides.

Hans Fahlin retired as CIO of the Gothenburg-based national pensions buffer fund AP2 two years ago, while Bo Kratz was managing director in Hong Kong of investment firm Conning until 2021.

Viveka Strangert runs her own consultancy focusing on regulatory issues in the financial sector, and Heléne Robson is general counsel at professional association Engineers of Sweden (Sveriges Ingenjörer), according to Alecta.