SWEDEN - Swedish pension buffer fund Fjärde AP-fonden (AP4) has appointed Björn Kvarnskog as global equities manager, while there are further changes at AP2 and AP3.

Kvarnskog currently works as a portfolio manager and strategist at DnB NOR, Norway's largest financial group, and has previously worked at Handelsbanken Liv, the Third Swedish National Pension Fund (AP3) and Alfred Berg Asset Management - which rebranded as ABN Amro in 2005.

Although a start date for Kvarnskog has yet to been confirmed, AP4 - which is valued at SEK207.3bn (€22.3bn) - stated Kvarnskog would only be responsible for the global equity portfolio, and not the Swedish equity portfolio.

This announcement follows the departure of the AP4's head of equities, Anders Årjes and Leif Hässel its head fixed income and currency in February. (See earlier IPE story: AP4 seeks heads of equities and fixed income)

Latest figures from the AP4 website reveal the global equity portfolio was worth SEK84.7bn at the end of December 2007, and 43.6% of its globally listed portfolio were managed externally, including four actively-managed mandates - one global, one Japanese, and two Asia-Pacific - and three "semi-actively and quantitatively managed" mandates covering North America and Europe.

The fund reported a return on its global equities portfolio of 2.1% in 2007, two percentage points lower than the previous year, while the fund also reduced the active management component of its portfolio from 80% to 50% following weak returns through stock and sector allocation.

Elsewhere, Andra AP-fonden (AP2), the second Swedish national pension fund has appointed Johan Held as its chief investment officer, following the departure of Poul Winslow.

Winslow's departure was announced in December, and it was expected that he would leave the fund by mid-April to take on a role at Nordea relating to funds of hedge funds. (See earlier IPE story: AP2 loses CIO to Nordea)

Held, who has 22 years experience in capital administration on both a national and international level, will join AP2 from his current role a CIO at KP Pension and Insurance, although previously he has held roles at companies including SEB Investment Management and Nordea.

In addition, the Third Swedish National Pension Fund (AP3) is seeking a new head of global equities following the announcement revealing Cecilia Sved has been appointed as senior manager at Lundmark & Co Fondförvaltning AB, beginning on July 1 2008.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email nyree.stewart@ipe.com