AP1 head of external management dies

Rikard Kjörling joined the fund in 2007 to head the newly created unit.

First Swedish National Pension Fund (AP Fonden 1) head of external management Rikard Kjörling has died.

The pension fund has not put out an official statement but has informed business colleagues, a spokesman said.

Kjörling joined the fund in 2007 from SEB Asset Management to head the newly created department overseeing the fund’s external mandates, which accounted then for about 25 percent of its fund capital, according to a statement issued at the time.

In 2014, AP1 reorganised its external management team and Kjörling was appointed head of the new external management unit, while Martin Källström was appointed head of alternative investments, according to a statement.

Externally managed investments accounted for 34.6 percent of the fund’s total portfolio of SEK 284 billion ($34.4 billion; €30.4 billion) at the end of 2014.

AP1’s 2014 report highlighted strong returns from its private equity and emerging market equity investments. Its private equity portfolio returned 20.1 percent, against an overall return before expenses of 14.8 percent. PE investments generated a net income of SEK 1.8 billion for the year, out of a total net income of SEK 36.9 billion, its financial report said.

At the end of 2014, AP1’s private equity allocation was SEK 12.5 billion, equivalent to 4.4 percent of its portfolio, up from 3.3 percent in 2013. The fund’s strategy is to increase its exposure to the asset class.

The structure of Sweden’s pension buffer funds is currently under review, with plans to merge AP6 with AP2, according to reports.