Finland’s third-biggest mutual pensions insurance company, Elo, has announced it is appointing a leadership expert to a new role on its management board, as part of its ongoing efforts to reform its corporate governance system, following intense FSA scrutiny in the wake of a brief solvency crisis.

Lawyer Elina Heliö has been appointed to the newly-created role of director of people and culture at the €29.4bn pension fund, according to the announcement from the firm, which is a key provider in Finland’s earnings-related pension system.

Carl Pettersson, Elo’s chief executive officer, said in a statement: “We have reformed Elo’s corporate governance system in recent months. Elina Heliö will play a significant role in the position of director of people and culture, which is new in Elo’s management team.”

Heliö would be responsible for Elo’s HR services, legal affairs, public relations and communications, the CEO said.

Heliö said she was really happy with her new job at Elo.

“I believe that in this task I can make extensive use of my knowledge and experience in developing a corporate culture.

“I can see that the combination of communications, HR, legal affairs and public relations provides a particularly strong starting point for reforming Elo’s management and governance culture,” she said.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Heliö is a “seasoned human resources professional with extensive leadership experience”, and has succeeded in organisational development, leading change and developing leadership.

After a one-day breach of its minimum solvency level in March 2020, Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) put Elo under close scrutiny.

This has included the imposition of lawyer Pekka Jaatinen as FIN-FSA’s authorised representative to monitor the Elo’s management directly since December 2020. He is still at the firm, with the situation due to be reviewed in April.

Elo’s previous CEO, Satu Huber, departed abruptly in March 2021 during FIN-FSA’s investigations, and was replaced by Pettersson the next month.

A source close to events told IPE at the time that Elo needed new management direction as there were problems with the internal management culture.

Elo was formed in 2014 from two companies, Local Tapiola and Pension Fennia, and the source said the root of Elo’s problems lay in the fact the internal cultures of the two merging firms had been very different.

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