Sweden’s Alecta announced this morning it has found a new permanent chief executive officer to replace Magnus Billing – who was recently sacked as the pensions giant reeled following huge losses on US niche banks.
Alecta said it has hired Peder Hasslev, chair of Denmark’s PFA and CEO of Swedish state-owned venture capital company Saminvest, as its CEO from 1 September.
On that date, Hasslev will take over from Katarina Thorslund, Alecta’s interim CEO since the dismissal of Billing, the Stockholm-based institutional investor said.
Alecta wrote off its holdings in three failing US niche banks, including Silicon Valley Bank, in March leading to SEK19.6bn (€1.68bn) of losses.
Since then, its board has been battling with the repercussions – most notably plummeting customer confidence in the occupational pensions provider, which holds the mandate to provide the default option for traditional pensions in the ITP system.
Hasslev, who was deputy CEO and head of asset management of blue-collar Swedish occupational pension provider AMF until 2017, said becoming CEO of Alecta was “a very exciting and honourable assignment”.
“Alecta has delivered high returns and made pension savers happy and secure for many years,” he said.
“The most important thing right now is to restore the confidence of customers so that Alecta can continue to create great customer value,” said Hasslev.
Alecta said the recruitment of a new CEO had been managed on behalf of the board by a recruitment committee consisting of board chair Ingrid Bonde, vice-chairs Martin Linder and Jan-Olof Jacke and board member Petra Hedengran.
Jacke said the board was happy to have been able to recruit Hasslev. “Peder has a deep understanding of asset management of the size that Alecta operates and has solid industry experience,” he said.
Linder described the incoming CEO as a “confident leader with the ability to engage his colleagues and drive long-term change”.
The appointment is subject to approval by the Swedish Financial Services Authority, Alecta said.