Katja Bergqvist of Handelsbanken Fonder sees consolidation ahead

Katja Bergqvist, chief executive of Handelsbanken Fonder, has told InvestmentEurope that she believes the overall number of funds in the Swedish market will remain fairly constant in future but that consolidation pressures may see smaller funds and fund companies pushed out.

Responding to questions about the local market in light of recent regulatory changes, such as the implementation of Ucits rules, Bergqvist said that she believed the size of the local market and its propensity to innovate left it in a position of growth.

“New funds and ETFs will increase supply. Some consolidation in the industry will counter this increase partly or wholly,” she said.

“Smaller funds and fund companies may be pushed out because of costs derived from increased regulatory requirements.

“We are likely to see a consolidation of fund companies, and that at the individual company level there will be slightly fewer funds because many have duplicated supply in different countries today.

“With the new Ucits rules it will be possible to merge across borders and easily provide funds in a certain market without having a fund company in that same market.

“Handelsbanken Fonder will be looking over its structure in all countries and seek to consolidate the number of funds and fund companies. It is too early to indicate the specific effects of this.”

Bergqvist has been on the board of the Swedish Investment Fund Association (Fondbolagens förening) since 2008.

Handelsbanken Fonder is the fund management subsidiary of Swedish universal bank Handelsbanken. It has some SEK180bn (€20bn) under management across about 100 funds.

Nine of its funds are 5-Star rated by Morningstar, according to figures from Handelsbanken Fonder’s own website. Over 20 are 4-Star rated.

In SEK terms its top performing fund in the three years to 7 November was the Handelsbanken Svenska Småbolag (Swedish Smaller Companies), which returned over 80%. Its worst performing fund over the period was the XACT Bear, down -66%.

Across all the group’s businesses, Handelsbanken is active in 22 markets. Since the 1980s it has built up a presence in the UK to the extent that it is now counted as one of its core “domestic” markets alongside Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.



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