SWEDEN – Sweden’s largest mutual fund company, Robur, has created a new holding company specifically for corporate governance issues, Robur Fondholding. Chairman of the new company will be Anders Sahlén, current chairman of Robur.

Anders Ek, chief executive officer of Robur and member of the board of the new Stockholm-based subsidiary, says the new company was formed in line with the growth in its institutional clientele.

“The growth in institutional business means corporate governance has become more topical. As the world’s second largest holder of Swedish equities after the Swedish government, with some SKr 80bn (€8.7bn) in equities under management, we needed to establish a clearer, central corporate governance strategy. Setting up a dedicated entity to be able to deal with the group's governance issues was the best solution,” Ek explains.

Ek claims that although establishing a company of this type is not new, the management structure is. “Corporate governance companies created by banks and asset managers are usually run by members from within their own ranks.

"We believe this can cause power struggles and lead to conflicts of interests. We have appointed a board that is more or less independent of Robur and from a diversified social and economic background.”

Four of the new company’s seven board members have no affiliation to Robur, which currently has some SKr270bn (€29.3bn) under management overall.