Stockholm (NordSIP) – Swedish pension giant Alecta has been through a lot lately. The considerable losses that its portfolio suffered due to overweight positions in the three niche banks worst affected by the recent bank turbulence in the US have led to a severe crisis of confidence. In the aftermath of the dramatic events, senior executives have been fired, including former CEO Magnus Billing, and new recruitments have been made. The massive losses have also led the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority to launch an investigation into Alecta’s risk management.
Meanwhile, the Board of Directors perseveres in its efforts to restore the confidence of Alecta’s clients and the general public. A recruitment committee consisting of Chairwoman Ingrid Bonde, the two Vice Chairmen Martin Linder and Jan-Olof Jacke and Board member Petra Hedengran has conducted a search for a new CEO. On 1 June, the Board announced they had found the right person for the job – Peder Hasslev. He will take up his new position as CEO on 1 September 2023. Until then, acting CEO Katarina Thorslund will continue to hold the reins.
The recruitment committee sounds enthusiastic about their choice. “Peder Hasslev is a confident leader with the ability to engage his colleagues and drive long-term change,” comments Vice Chairman Linder. “Peder has a deep understanding of asset management of the size that Alecta operates and has solid industry experience,” adds Vice Chairman Jacke.
Also, Chairwoman Bonde has high hopes for the newly appointed CEO: “We look forward to Peder Hasslev, together with the rest of the management team, continuing to develop Alecta and create value for the company’s customers for a long time to come,” she says.
Hasslev is currently CEO of the state-owned venture capital company Saminvest AB and Chairman of the Board of Denmark’s largest commercial pension manager PFA Pension. His previous roles include Deputy CEO and Head of Asset Management at AMF and Head of Equities at SEB Asset Management.
“Becoming CEO of Alecta is a very exciting and honourable assignment,” comments Hasslev. “Alecta has delivered high returns and made pension savers satisfied and secure for many years. The most important thing right now is to rebuild customer confidence so that Alecta can continue to create great customer value. I also look forward to developing the organisation together with all the competent people who currently work at Alecta,” he adds.
In an interview for the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, he sounds humbled by the new assignment. “It is very easy as a new CEO to come in and point the finger and say you are going to change a lot of things, but it takes courage to do that. It also takes courage to preserve what is good,” he says (in Swedish).
“It is extremely important that I first familiarise myself with what has happened and how and why, and talk to people who have been involved, in order to be able to make well-balanced decisions,” concludes Hasslev.