Danish pension provider Velliv has announced it is now 100% owned by its customers, after its holding company bought the remainder of shares in the company from the Nordic financial group Nordea.
The shares were bought by Velliv Association (Velliv Foreningen), which is owned by the 350,000 customers of Velliv, the former Nordea Life and Pension Denmark, as it lifted its stake in the operating company to 100% from 81%.
Peter Gæmelke, Velliv Association chair, said: “The Velliv Association has today become the sole owner of Velliv.”
“Now all of Velliv’s profits go to the Velliv Association, which pays a cash bonus to members and supports non-profit mental health efforts,” he said.
As it was now fully-owned by its customers, and as an integrated part of Danish business, Velliv said, the company would increase its focus on social responsibility factors including responsible investment and sustainability, which it said was a natural thing to do as one of Denmark’s largest institutional investors.
The association has been stepping up its ownership of the former Nordea subsidiary in stages over the past three years, targeting full ownership by buying shares from the bank.
Scandinavian investors invest €215m in European infra fund
Scandinavian pensions and insurance firms have invested around €215m in a European equity infrastructure fund managed by Allianz Capital Partners, Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) announced.
The Allianz European Infrastructure Fund (AEIF) reached its final close after raising €860m and being heavily oversubscribed, AllianzGI said, with Scandinavian pensions and insurance firms accounting for more than a quarter of these commitments.
Investments made by the fund are to be funded by both the AEIF and Allianz insurance companies, with the latter contributing at least 50% of invested capital, said AllianzGI, adding that the focus would be on energy, transportation and communication infrastructure providing essential services for the public.
Erik Rosensvard, Allianz GI’s head of business development Nordics, said: “Our institutional clients show a strong appetite to invest equity into infrastructure projects together with Allianz.
“In this respect, it is an advantage that the seed investment will be undertaken in a Scandinavian country,” he added.
AEIF has already made its first investment in Finland’s second largest electricity distribution company Elenia, according to AllianzGI.
Storebrand triples fossil-free assets
Norwegian pension provider Storebrand has now almost tripled its fossil-free assets following a divestment decision by its Swedish subsidiary SPP.
The move means a third of group assets under management, €26bn, will exclude fossil fuel companies once the SPP move is complete, the firm announced at the COP 25 climate conference in Madrid.
Odd Arild Grefstad, Storebrand Group chief executive officer, said: “We believe that companies with a strategy in line with the UN global goals and Paris Agreement will create better returns in the long run.
“Along with all other sectors, the financial sector must recognise its important role in channeling investments into low carbon solutions,” he added.
Staffan Hansén, CEO of SPP Pension & Insurance, said the pension industry had a natural and important role to play in tackling climate change.
“Half of the money on the world’s stock exchanges is pensions money, and capital flows from fossil fuels are likely to accelerate faster than you think,” he said.
SPP also cited financial reasons for the divestment, such as the likelihood of increased carbon dioxide tax for companies in the future.
Storebrand said it had joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, along with 15 other asset owners, who pledge to achieve net-zero carbon investment portfolios by 2050.