Danish pension provider Velliv has reduced investment risk in the face of lower returns and higher volatility.

The company – which rebranded from Nordea Liv & Pension Denmark at the start of this month – reported that investment returns for the first nine months of the year were lower than in the previous five years.

Anders Stensbøl Christiansen, Velliv’s CIO, said such weaker results were to be expected from now on.

“One reason is that we are approaching the end of a boom with increased turmoil in financial markets,” Stensbøl Christiansen said. “Because of this we have taken some of the risk out of our customer portfolio recently with a view to protecting customers’ pension savings.”

However, Velliv said an analysis of returns from pension companies by ratings firm Morningstar showed that its nine-month return was the best among Denmark’s commercial pension providers.

Customers with the pension product VækstPension Aktiv received the best return in the sector in 2018 to date, the firm said. A customer with a medium-risk profile and 15 years until pension age achieved a 4.1% return.

Nordea Liv & Pension announced the rebrand in June, and will become 100% customer-owned in the next few years.

In the past two years the business has de-coupled from Nordea, and is now owned ultimately by Nordea Liv & Pension’s customers through the Velliv Foreningen (association). In January the association increased its stake in what is now Velliv to 70%.