Experienced CIO Joins Alecta

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The summer holidays did not deter Swedish pension giant Alecta from persevering in its efforts to restore confidence in the aftermath of the dramatic events earlier this year. On 8 August, Alecta announced the appointment of a seasoned investment leader, Pablo Bernengo, as its incoming chief investment officer. Bernengo, currently the CIO of the Third Swedish National Pension Fund (AP3), is set to assume his new role no later than 7 January 2024.

    In April this year, another investment veteran, Kerim Kaskal, was asked to step in as interim head of the investment organisation. At the time, it was made clear that Kaskal would be holding the reins only temporarily, as Alecta’s CIO, Henrik Gade Jepsen, continued to be on long-term sick leave caused by complications from a Covid infection. With the appointment of Bernengo, Alecta has now found a permanent replacement for Gade Jepsen.

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    In his new role, Bernengo will be reporting directly to Alecta’s incoming CEO, Peder Hasslev, who is expected to assume his position in September.

    “I am very happy to welcome Pablo as the new head of Alecta’s Asset Management,” comments Katarina Thorslund, acting CEO of Alecta. “His extensive experience in asset management and as a leader in various organisations will be very valuable to us, not least in our ongoing work within the framework of the strategic review of the asset management model.”

    Pablo Bernengo has indeed extensive knowledge of and experience with leading investment organisations. He was previously CIO and later CEO of Öhman Fonder for about eight and a half years. Prior to that, he held the role of portfolio manager at DNB Asset Management for over a decade.

    Bernengo has been the CIO of AP3 since October 2019. Under his leadership, the pension fund has implemented a number of changes in the organisation’s investment team and portfolio. Among others, AP3 has, in recent years, demonstrated growing sustainability ambitions by increasing its efforts to act as a responsible investor and willing to pull together the necessary resources to do it.

    All this experience will undoubtedly come to good use at Alecta, where challenges still abound after a turbulent first half of 2023. The pension giant’s portfolio suffered considerable losses due to overweight positions in the three niche banks worst affected during the US banking crisis in March and April: Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank. Despite significant losses on individual investments, however, Alecta’s defined premium savings product, Alecta Optimal Pension, managed to return 6.6 per cent during the first half of 2023.

    “Alecta is an important player in the Swedish pension system and the capital market. I look forward to meeting all employees and, together with them, continue to develop asset management,” comments Pablo Bernengo upon joining Alecta.

    Image courtesy of AP3
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