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ATP CEO resigns

Carsten Stendevad, who has led the $120bn Danish pension since 2013, is returning to the US for family reasons.

Carsten Stendevad, chief executive officer of ATP, Denmark’s largest pension fund, is resigning to return to the US for family reasons, according to a statement.

The pension fund’s board of supervisors has initiated a search process and has appointed search firm AMROP to assist. This process is expected to be completed by year-end and Stendevad will assist in the transition period, ATP said.

Standevad, formerly a managing director in Citi’s investment bank in New York, took up the CEO position at ATP in April 2013. Since then he has led several initiatives, including revising the ATP pension product and redesigning ATP’s overall investment strategy to include a new approach to portfolio construction, strengthened in-house investment capabilities and an increased focus on direct investments, the fund said.

As well as delivering “strong investment returns”, Standevad has overseen “significant growth” in ATP’s welfare benefit processing business, while “substantially” reducing administrative costs.

“Carsten commands great respect among ATP’s stakeholders, because of the strong financial results he has delivered, the organizational improvements he has undertaken, and the way he has positioned ATP in the Danish society,” Jorgen Sondergaard, chairman of ATP’s board of supervisors, said in the statement. “Carsten is handing over an ATP in great shape to his successor.”

With more than $120 billion in assets, ATP is one of Europe’s largest pension plans with five million members. It invests in private equity through its fund investment unit, ATP Private Equity Partners.

In June ATP allocated a further €700 million to ATP PEP, almost doubling the size of its fifth fund, ATP PEP Fund V, bringing it up to €1.5 billion and ATP PEP’s assets under management to €8.4 billion, as reported by Private Equity International.

Fund V was originally launched in 2014 with €800 million and continues the investment strategy that ATP has been pursuing since it was founded in 2001: investing in global buyout funds, venture and distressed assets funds.

ATP Private Equity Partners is a significant investor in the asset class and has made commitments to nearly 200 funds, according to PEI data. It recently backed Industrial Growth Partners V, an $800 million fund focused on the US mid-market, and Sequoia Capital’s separate Chinese growth and venture funds. It was also among the LPs in Advent International’s recently closed $13 billion eighth fund.

ATP also announced in June that chief investment officer Henrik Gade Jepsen is leaving to join Danske Bank. The new CIO will be 44-year-old Kasper Arndt Lorenzen, who until now has been head of liquid markets in ATP’s investment division.