SWEDEN - AP7, the default fund in the Swedish nationwide defined contribution system, has appointed Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) as its proxy voting provider.

In 2010, AP7 was made available as an active choice option in Sweden’s premium pension system, a move that led to an increase of diversification for the global portfolio.

The fund’s voting directive was changed last year, as domestic equities account for only a couple percentage points of the portfolio.

The tender process for a proxy voting company - to improve AP7’s capability to vote internationally - started in the middle of last year.

It said the appointment of ISS would complement its ethical and environmental engagement policies for its more than 2,500 holdings.

In other news, the total average return among Swedish pension insurers for the full year 2011 amounted to 2.2%.

According to the statistics from Svensk Försäkring, the industry organisation for insurance companies, performance varied greatly among the providers.

Nordea Liv’s traditional portfolio returned 16.1%, followed by SEB Trygg Liv at 10.4% and SPP Liv’s closed defined contribution fund at 9.8%.

At the bottom of the table was one of Swedbank Försäkring’s traditional products at -6.3% and one of Handelsbanken Liv’s products, which was down 5%.

The average return over the past five years was 3.9%.

Premium income for life insurance products fell from SEK195.6bn (€22.2bn) in 2010 to SEK190.1bn in 2011.

Skandia has the largest market share in terms of premium income, with 13.9% at the end of 2011, followed by Folksam’s 11.1% and SEB Trygg Liv’s 9.8%.

Both AMF Pension and Swedbank Försäkring have a market share of 8.6% each.