Stockholm (NordSIP) –Swedish asset manager Coeli is showing growing ambitions to become a leader in sustainable investments. On 21 December, the firm announced that they would be hiring one of Sweden’s pioneers in the field, Ulrika Hasselgren, as Chief Sustainability Officer, member of the management team and board member within the Coeli Group. Upon learning the news, NordSIP reached out to Hasselgren to hear more about the move and what exactly convinced her to take on the new role.
“It is as if a door opened up when I started discussing with Coeli,” she says. “I realised just how much I had missed being a part of an asset management organisation since I left Danske Bank. I really look forward to working with Coeli’s team of professional and very humble portfolio managers,” she adds.
At Coeli, her soon-to-be-colleagues, sound just as excited. “Ulrika’s solid competence to integrate sustainability into investments creates the right conditions for long-term competitive returns for our customers,” comments Erik Lundkvist, Head of Asset Management at Coeli. By hiring Hasselgren, the firm also hopes to strengthen its position with institutional investors for whom sustainability is becoming a priority.
Since March 2021, Hasselgren has been Head of Nordics and Head of Europe for Corporates and Sovereigns at fintech firm Arabesque Asset Management. “I am very grateful for all I’ve learned while at Arabesque,” she says. According to her, joining the firm has added new dimensions to Hasselgren’s broad sustainability competence. “I know much more about big data, algorithms and new technology in general now,” she explains. Yet, it has been challenging, too, working somewhat detached from the London headquarters due to the COVID restrictions. “Had I chosen to stay with Arabesque, I would have had to move to London eventually,” comments Hasselgren. “And Stockholm is home for my family and me,” she adds.
The Swedish sustainable investments veteran co-founded Ethix SRI Advisors in 1999 and was the firm’s CEO until 2015 when Ethix was sold to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). For a few years, she served as Global Head of RI Strategy & ESG Integration at ISS before moving on to Danske Bank in 2018, where she built a strong team during her time as Global Head of Sustainability and Impact Investment. In parallel, she has been a guest lecturer on Sustainable Investment and Business Ethics at Stockholm University School of Business 2002-2017, a founding member of Dansif and Finsif, board member of Eurosif, member of the LuxFLAG ESG Label Eligibility Committee, and a frequent speaker at international investor conferences. She is a member of the CFA Institute ESG Standard working group and EFRAG, the European Corporate Reporting Lab Task Force.
Hasselgren’s portfolio of sustainability-related undertakings is growing steadily. Earlier in 2021, she joined the board of directors of Nordic fintech company Fundrella as well as the advisory boards of infrastructure investment company Infranode and real estate manager Patrizia AG.
Ahead of starting her new job at Coeli on 17 January next year, Hasselgren admits that she can’t wait to plunge into some hands-on sustainable investment work directly after the holidays. “I have a feeling that they do things for real at Coeli. It is not just words,” she concludes.