Alecta, still in turmoil after March’s huge US bank losses, this morning announced that its permanent chief investment officer – on sick leave since last year – is leaving the SEK1.12trn (€97bn) pension fund.

The Swedish pension provider said in a short statement: “Alecta’s head of asset management Henrik Gade Jepsen is leaving Alecta.

“Recruitment of a new head of asset management is starting immediately,” the firm said.

The Stockholm-based pension fund – Sweden’s largest – said Gade Jepsen took office on 3 December 2022.

“Acting head of asset management Kerim Kaskal is remaining until further notice,” it added in the statement.

Gade Jepsen, a former CIO of Denmark’s ATP, has been on sick leave from Alecta for months, having been taken ill just a month after coming to the firm.

Alecta revealed in April that Gade Jepsen was suffering from ”severe complications following a COVID infection”, but said at the time that he was expected to be fully recovered and back at work after the summer.

A spokesman for Alecta told IPE today he could give no further information about Gade Jepsen leaving.

Kaskal was brought in at the beginning of April in the midst of the crisis which erupted after Alecta had to book losses of SEK19.6bn on its investments in Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank during the US bank crisis in March.

The appointment of Kaskal to take over temporarily from Gade Jepsen until his expected return was made as one of a series of changes as the pension fund scrambled to shore up confidence, a week before Magnus Billing was fired as chief executive officer of Alecta.

Kaskal was CIO of Swedish national pensions buffer fund AP3 for two years from September 2013, and currently works as adviser and partner at a range of financial businesses.

Last week, Alecta announced big changes to its overall investment strategy after concluding the first phase of a strategic review, a week after Peder Hasslev was appointed as its new permanent CEO. Hasslev is due to start work at Alecta in September.

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