Sweden’s national pension fund AP7 has hired a new chief investment officer to replace Ingrid Albinsson, creating more certainty about the future leadership of the SEK905.2bn (€79.8bn) weeks before its long-term chief executive officer leaves the building.

Lena Fahlén, currently head of bond and currency trading at Handelsbanken Markets, has been appointed as AP7’s new CIO and will take up the position in September, the pension fund announced this morning.

Because CEO Richard Gröttheim is due to leave AP7, which runs the default option in the country’s defined contribution premium pension system, on 1 July, Fahlén will be working under the incoming CEO Pål Bergström.

Albinsson said back in April that she had decided to leave AP7 after 12 years in the job, telling IPE that in the next stage of her career, she was “open to challenges” where she could contribute based on her experience and knowledge.

She has since been named by the Swedish government as the new deputy chair of the board of national pensions buffer fund AP2, which is based in Gothenburg.

At AP7’s Stockholm headquarters, Fahlén will take over as CIO from Per Olofsson, who has been acting CIO at AP7 since Albinsson left.

Lena Fahlén at AP7

Lena Fahlén at AP7

Olofsson was appointed head of the fixed income business unit at AP7 back in March 2020.

Bergström said today that Fahlén was a top recruit with whom looked forward to working.

“With her, we get a capital management manager with extensive experience in managing both management, analysis and capital market operations,” he said.

“She is an engaging leader who has shown great ability to develop various businesses,” Bergström said.

Fahlén said: “I am very much looking forward to my new role, not least in light of the new investment opportunities in alternative assets as well as being able to participate and contribute to the high ambitions AP7 has in the area of sustainability.”

AP7’s investment mandate was expanded from the start of this year to include alternative assets such as real estate, infrastructure, and other private assets. Up to now, AP7 has only invested in equities and bonds.

The pension fund made its first real estate investment a month ago today, forming a joint venture with Swedish occupational pension fund AMF and paying SEK7.4bn for a third of its flagship Urban Escape central Stockholm multi-use development.

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