Sweden’s largest pension fund was the object of an investigation by the country’s financial watchdog regarding its equities management that has now been dropped, it was revealed this morning.
According to announcements by the Swedish FSA (Finansinspektionen, FI) and the SEK1.2trn (€113bn) occupational pension provider Alecta, the probe concerned activity from 2020 to 2022 and involved three site visits by the agency.
The FSA said: “FI has examined Alecta’s internal control and risk management within asset management during the years 2020–2022. The review was limited to the asset class of equities. FI is now writing off the case.”
Explaining why it conducted the investigation, the watchdog said simply that carrying out such probes to assess how companies were complying with relevant rules was part of its supervision.
“FI has, among other things, examined the governing documents, processes, reporting methods and handling of incidents and conflicts of interest within asset management,” the agency said.
Finansinspektionen went on to say that during the period it investigated, 2020–2022, the company had “taken a number of measures to improve internal control and risk management in asset management”.
“The investigation has not shown any remaining deficiencies of any kind other than those which, in a final assessment, can be judged to be minor or excusable,” the watchdog said.
In such a situation, it said, there was no reason to take further action in connection with the investigation.
Hans Sterte, Alecta’s chief investment officer, said that given the business was built on a large number of regulations as well as the trust of its customers, the probe had been welcome and useful.
“The fact that the case is now being written off is thanks to the ongoing work that we do together with our central functions, to strengthen our internal control and risk management within asset management,” he said.
Alecta would continue to focus on that work to ensure it maintained a strong risk culture and regulatory compliance in the business, Sterte said.
The FSA said it told Alecta on 15 March this year that it had initiated the investigation, and that it subsequently carried out three visits to the Stockholm-based company between 3 May and 6 May as part of the exercise.