Active ownership and sustainability

Our standpoint

AP1 takes a position on issues relating to the operations we invest in, directly or indirectly. Here are some examples.

Uncertainties in Eltel

In winter 2017 AP1 joined Eltel’s nomination committee. Soon afterwards it emerged that information provided by the company did not correspond to reality. The former CEO and former board chairman were therefore denied discharge from liability at the general meeting in June. These people are now the subject of inquiries to establish whether or not the company can claim damages from them. At the same time the company’s auditor is being investigated by the Swedish Inspectorate of Auditors.

The nomination committee worked hard to set up a new board with the right experience and knowledge, which can work alongside the management to bring Eltel back to profitability.

Focus on president’s external assignments

When Hexagon’s President Ola Rollén was arrested in 2016 and later prosecuted for insider offences, the nomination committee needed to consider what measures would be required in the event of a guilty verdict. In early January 2018, Rollén was acquitted on all points (although the verdict has been appealed). He was therefore able to continue both as President and as a board member with AP1’s full confidence. The Fund has, however, expressed that it is important that the boards of Hexagon, as with all other companies, carefully consider which external assignments for presidents and management are suitable and should be permitted.

Nordea relocation causes a stir

In 2017, Nordea announced that its board would propose at the general meeting in March 2018 that the bank’s headquarters should be relocated from Stockholm to Helsinki.

After carefully considering the pros and cons of relocation, AP1 decided to vote yes to the proposal. The main reason is that the Fund has confidence in the board in its conclusion that a relocation is in the best interests of Nordea and its shareholders. We agree with the board that the stability achieved by Nordea becoming part of the European banking union is important.

The fact that Nordea intends to keep an owner-led nomination committee and employee representatives on the board has also been important in the Fund’s decision.

Owners to be treated equally

In early 2018, venture capital fund Cevian sold its holding in Volvo Trucks, in which AP1 also has a financial interest, to a non-Swedish player. This prompted a general debate about the terms for ownership.

The Fund’s position is that although non-Swedish owners are welcome to invest in Swedish companies, as we do abroad, Swedish and non-Swedish owners must be treated equally in terms of rules and taxation.