Steen Michael Erichsen has been sacked from Danish pensions firm Velliv after 15 years as its chief executive officer because of a personal investment, with the provider’s chair describing the situation as unfortunate for everyone at the company.

In a statement released yesterday, the DKK325bn (€43.6bn) occupational pension provider said Erichsen had resigned from his position as CEO by mutual agreement with the board of Velliv Pension & Livsforsikring.

“The agreement has been concluded as the board is of the opinion that Steen Michael Erichsen has made an arrangement in relation to his private savings which is not compatible with the position,” the former Nordea subsidiary said.

Anne Broeng, chair of Velliv’s board, said: “It is with regret that we have to say goodbye to Steen Michael Erichsen.”

In his 15 years as CEO, she said, Erichsen had helped drive “colossal development” at the Copenhagen-based company.

Morten Møller, Velliv’s chief compliance officer, is taking over from Erichsen as acting CEO until a new permanent leader is in place, the firm said.

Broeng told IPE today that what had been at issue was a private investment decision Erichsen made “that we didn’t think was in line with the ethical standard required from a CEO”.

“It was an investment decision he shouldn’t have made at that time,” she told IPE, but said she could give no further details.

She said Velliv had not reported the case to the police, but had reported it to the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.

“We have closed the case now with this agreement with the CEO,” she said.

“We are going to have a process now to find a new CEO, so that is what we were focusing on,” she said. “It will be business as usual. We won’t change the strategy,” she added.

“I really regret the situation; I have been working with Steen for five years as chairman and we have had a fantastic collaboration – so it’s really an unfortunate situation for everybody here,” Broeng said.

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