AP4, the SEK357bn (€34.6bn) buffer fund in the Swedish national pension system, has made a key appointment to bolster its alternative investments capabilities ahead of significant changes to its investment guidelines.
Jenny Askfelt Ruud has been named head of Alternative Investments, a position she will take up in September 2018. This comes ahead of the implementation of guidelines that will allow the fund to increase its allocation to illiquid investments, effective 1 January, 2019. A further change that will allow the fund to invest in unlisted instruments directly will come into effect by 1 July, 2019 – as the fund reacts to changes to guidelines that have been in place for some two decades.
Ruud will be responsible for growing the team required to support investment decisions in the area of alternative investments, and identify the opportunities that the new guideline will allow.
Her previous experience with Ratos, McKinsey and Morgan Stanley are cited by Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4. The development of expertise in alternative investments will also come with a commitment to integrate sustainability objectives.
Alongside the news of the appointment, AP4 announced that it has completed the sale of more than 20 coal companies from its global equities portfolio. The carbon footprint of the portfolio is thus down to about 57% of a typical b road global equities index – which is defined by AP4 as the MSCI All Countries index.
Those companies sold are ones where thermal coal represents 20% or more of turnover. AP4 has pursued lower levels of carbon in its equity strategies since 2012, intended to reduce exposure to companies with large carbon dioxide emissions and fossil reserves, in order to reduce climate risk in the portfolio.