One of Sweden’s state pension funds has sacked its chief executive for breaking its own rules on holding and trading of financial instruments.
AP1, which manages SKr352bn ($36bn) in assets, said on Monday it had dismissed Johan Magnusson with immediate effect because he had “violated internal regulations on the holding and trading of financial instruments”. It declined to provide further details beyond saying no crime had been committed.
“Since it has now emerged that Mr Magnusson has broken our internal regulations, he unfortunately no longer has the board’s confidence,” said Urban Hansson Brusewitz, the fund’s chairman. “Therefore the board has agreed unanimously that it is not possible for Mr Magnusson to continue as CEO of AP1.”
Mr Magnusson, who has run AP1 since 2008, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Teresa Isele, the fund’s general counsel, has been appointed acting chief executive by the board and the search for a new permanent head is under way.
AP1 is one of five state pension funds in Sweden and invests in private and public assets. It reported a net return of 9.7 per cent in the six months to June and last year seeded a frontier markets fund launched by Somerset Capital Management, the UK boutique manager co-founded by the British MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Abrupt dismissals in asset management are relatively rare. Alexander Friedman was ousted from Swiss group GAM in November as the crisis-hit fund group battled to stem outflows following the suspension of a star portfolio manager.
Mr Magnusson was on AP1’s investment committee but did not directly manage any investments himself. He had previously angered the group’s board after it emerged that he took some employees for an internal conference in late 2016 in southern France, close to where he owns a private residence.
“He could have been clearer and given more information to the board,” AP1 said. AP1 added that the criticism over travel arrangements and the reasons for MrMagnusson’s dismissal were unrelated.
AP1 also changed its travel policy following criticism in the Swedish media over trips to China and India taken by senior managers.