Chief executive of national Danish pension fund ATP resigns

Carsten Stendevad, ATP

Carsten Stendevad, ATP

Carsten Stendevad, a former Citi banker who joined ATP in April 2013, is to leave the fund for family reasons, a spokesman said. He is to return to the US, having returned to his native Denmark to take up the role, ATP said.

The move comes after the appointment of Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen as CIO in June. Lorenzen took over the role following the departure of Henrik Gade Jepsen, the former head of investments and a 17-year-long ATP staffer, who joined Danske Bank to expand its asset management and wealth business.

A statement from ATP said Stendevad had led key initiatives including redesigning its overall investment strategy to include a new approach to portfolio construction, strengthening in-house investment capabilities and increasing a focus on direct investments.

Jørgen Søndergaard, chairman of ATP’s board of supervisors, said: “Carsten commands great respect among ATP’s stakeholders, because of the strong financial results he has delivered, the organisational improvements he has undertaken, and the way he has positioned ATP in the Danish society.”

Upon announcing his departure, Stendevad said: “ATP plays an important role in the lives of most Danes and it has been an honour to serve as CEO of this great institution. For family reasons we have now decided to relocate back to the US. I have enjoyed every day here at ATP, and I am proud of the results that my colleagues and I have achieved. My focus will now be on securing a smooth transition.”

ATP has appointed search firm AMROP to assist with recruiting a replacement and expects the process to have completed by the end of the year. Stendevad will assist in the transition period.

On August 25, ATP reported investment returns of 6.7% in the first half of the year. Additionally, the scheme allocated more than £1 billion to meet obligations that had been inflated by increased the life expectancy of the Danish population.

At the end of 2015, ATP boasted an average annual return of 9% in a 20-year period that contained two sizeable market downturns. In June, it took the prize in the pension fund category at FN’s 20th Anniversary Awards recognising excellence over the past 20 years.

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