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Swedish government pension appoints alternatives head

The government pension fund for public sector employees has appointed a senior manager from the AP3 Swedish buffer fund to expand its exposure to alternatives, particularly international property-related assets.

Kåpan Pensioner, the SEK 53.7 billion (€6.1 billion) pension fund for Swedish government employees, has created a new role of head of alternative investments in a move that will lead to the expansion and globalization of its real estate-related assets, PERE has learned.

The Stockholm-based pension, which serves more than 700,000 members, has hired Mikael Huldt, the current senior portfolio manager of alternative assets at Tredje AP-Finden, otherwise known as AP3, to lead the initiative. Huldt will be responsible for alternative investments from 1 September and leaves AP3 tomorrow. He declined to comment beyond confirming his appointment.
 
According to Kåpan Pensioner’s most recent annual report and financial updates, in December, the pension settled upon an allocation to alternatives, including property-related assets, of between 5 percent and 20 percent. Under the new strategy, equities or equity-related asset classes will be between 20 percent and 35 percent of total assets, while fixed-income securities will be between 45 percent and 65 percent.  

“The board’s decision means that investment management is to be conducted with the same long-term focus as in previous years but that the two areas – property and other investments – are combined to form a new area, alternative assets, from 2013,” the report said.

It is understood that the new head of alternatives is being tasked with growing, diversifying and internationalizing the pension plan's existing real estate-related portfolio, which consists mainly of property, forestry and infrastructure. Its latest annual account noted that it has SEK 5 billion of property-related investments – or 9 percent of the overall portfolio.

Huldt, a former marine, joined AP3 in January 2004 and went on to co-lead a €2 billion real estate deal for the buffer fund, as well as implement a €400 million global infrastructure strategy and a €500 million global timberland program and expand its global private equity portfolio to more than €2 billion.