For the third year, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) has ranked the 100 most significant and impactful asset owner and public executives of 2015. AP4’s CEO Mats Andersson is ranked number 4 and is thereby the best ranked swede on the list. Mikael Angberg, Chief Investment Officer on AP1 is ranked number 28.
SWFI is a global organization designed to study sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, superannuation funds, central banks and other long-term public investors in the areas of investing, asset allocation, risk, governance, economics, policy, trade and other relevant issues. They provide specialized services such as research and consulting to various corporations, funds and governments.
The persons on the list command billions of assets. They come from medium to large-sized asset owners – sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, superannuation funds, endowments, central banks and other retirement funds. One of the major factor that warrants inclusion on the list is the contribution to important trends in the asset owner industry.
Mats Andersson is ranked number 4 with the following motivation:
Despite equity market turmoil erupting in mid-summer, the conceptual issues of ESG and portfolio decarbonization continues to gain headway in CIO circles. In fact, many pension funds that have isolated carbon assets, experienced a positive attribution of returns – publicly-traded energy stocks have struggled in 2014 and 2015.
As CEO of AP4, Mats Andersson sees carbon as a resource and one that comes with a cost. He makes no bones about the urgency of pricing carbon to address climate change. Andersson clearly understands that investing in listed companies that embrace sustainability practices and have lower carbon footprints, can add less risk to a portfolio. A reduction in carbon intensity of institutional portfolios can occur without sacrificing performance.
U.S. stocks in AP4’s portfolios were rebalanced, dumping and lowering exposure to companies with high carbon footprints. In October 2013, he engineered an emerging market equity strategy targeting companies with lower carbon emissions. Once AP4’s equity portfolio is finished decarbonizing, fixed income is his next target.
Soft-spoken Andersson has taken it upon himself to educate asset owners on the importance of decarbonization to lower risk and how it has helped AP4. He is active in both sustainability-focused investment venues and conferences where green investing takes a back seat. He addressed our Asian institutional investor audience last spring in Seoul, while recently heading over to Lima for the Climate Action High Level Meeting at the 20th Conference of Parties. He has even courted years back by Prince Charles to discuss his carbon investment strategy. Under Andersson, AP4 was a co-founder of the Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition, a coalition of asset owners and managers on mobilizing financial markets to drive economic decarbonization.
Before becoming CEO of AP4, Andersson was chief investment officer at Skandia Liv and before that a portfolio manager at AP3. Andersson started his career as a credit analyst at Götabanken and head stints in roles such as financial sales, journalism and investing.