Magnus Billing left his role as CEO at Alecta, Stockholm, as the pension fund's board looks to restore trust following losses related to collapsed U.S. banks.
Katarina Thorslund, deputy CEO, was appointed acting CEO, effective immediately, a statement said Tuesday. A recruitment process to appoint a permanent CEO begins immediately. Ms. Thorslund is also head of customer relations, according to the pension fund's website.
The 1.12 trillion Swedish kronor ($107.8 billion) pension fund had a total of 12 billion kronor invested in collapsed banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — investments that were written down to zero. The pension fund also sold a 9.7 billion kronor holding in First Republic Bank at a loss, divesting its exposure in March for 7.3 billion kronor.
Its investments in the beleaguered U.S. banks resulted in a total loss of about $1.4 billion and sparked an investigation by Mr. Billing into the pension fund's investment strategy, risk allocation and mandate for asset management. A spokesman for the pension fund said the initial inquiry into the losses had been presented to the pension fund board and showed "that the investments made were not in breach of any rules or mandates." The board shares that assessment, he said.
The pension fund outlined several changes April 4, announcing that its equities chief, Liselott Ledin, had been replaced by board member Ann Grevelius, and that the pension fund's approach to equity investments would be altered to reduce the risk associated with holding high stakes in individual non-Swedish companies.
In addition to the changes outlined last week, the board concluded that Alecta needs new leadership to implement the changes necessary to restore trust, a translation of Tuesday's statement said.
The spokesman said executives hope to appoint a permanent CEO "as soon as possible."