Stockholm (NordSIP) – On 1 March, the Third Swedish National Pension Fund (AP3) announced that Kerstin Hessius, who has been the fund’s CEO for the past 18 years, will be stepping down at the end of the year. “I have come to the conclusion that it is time to hand over the reins,” comments Hessius. “It was not an easy decision. AP3 is a highly professional pension fund manager, and it has been a privilege to work with such talented, responsible, and dedicated colleagues.”
The board of directors of the fund has already begun recruiting Hessius’s successor. They are, however, aware that AP3’s next CEO has some really big shoes to fill. ”I and my fellow board members warmly thank Kerstin Hessius for her years of leadership at AP3,” says Christina Lindenius, Chairman of the Board of AP3. “Kerstin’s wide-ranging experience of financial markets and her dedication to the fund’s mission have played a valuable role in the management of the pension system’s capital buffer. Kerstin has also built a strong and highly professional organisation for which the board has now begun the process of recruiting a new CEO,” she adds.
Hessius’s decision comes after a highly successful period for the fund she has overseen. Last year, AP3 reported the best ever performance in its 20-year history. The fund’s investments returned 20.7 per cent after expenses, amounting to a net result of SEK 86.8 billion. AP3 has generated an average annual return of 11.1 per cent in the last ten years. Since 2009 the fund has paid SEK 73 billion to the state pension system and helped strengthen the Swedish system’s financial health.
Lately, the fund has also ramped up its sustainability ambitions, establishing a dedicated team and recruiting Fredric Nyström to head the work of defining, developing, and implementing sustainability processes, strategies and goals, in close cooperation with AP3’s investment specialists.
Hessius will be leaving AP3 in good shape. Hopefully, the board will find a worthy successor to keep the legacy alive.