Sweden’s AP7, the SEK674bn (€64bn) default fund for the premium pension system, said it intends to file a report to police after being targeted yesterday by a sophisticated hoax, in which an unknown party purporting to be the fund itself distributed false information to media outlets.Fake news that the fund had taken a decision to divest from all fossil fuels and become carbon neutral by 2030 was then reported by IPE, one Swedish website, the French news agency AFP, and many international news outlets redistributing the AFP story.Johan Florén, AP7’s head of communications and ownership, told IPE: “We are going to try to make a report for the police. We are investigating this and and hopefully everything will become clear and we will then look into all the options.”IPE removed the false story from its website yesterday after being contacted by Florén to say the story was not true. The unknown perpetrators of the prank emailed journalists using the format of a press release closely resembling a genuine release from AP7, with the announcement also carried in English and Swedish on a website impersonating an official AP funds website.While the pension fund is taking action to remove remainders of the false information on social media and elsewhere online, Florén said there was a limited amount that could be done to guard against such attacks.“With this kind of online fraud, it’s very difficult to do anything about it. Often the perpetrators are hidden behind servers in other countries, for example,” he said.Asked who could be responsible for yesterday’s disinformation, Florén speculated the perpetrators could be environmental activists.“The AP funds have been subject to other attacks linked to the issue of sustainability, both online and physically,” he said.Two years ago, Swedish state pension buffer fund AP3 was targeted by activists from campaign group Greenpeace, which included one of their meeting rooms being occupied by protesters.Yesterday’s fake press release incident echoes the case in early 2019 when a spoof letter on climate change pretending to be from BlackRock founder Larry Fink was reported by the Financial Times and other media.
Odey Asset Management, EIOPA OPSG, HSBC GAM, Preventable Surprises, Franklin TempletonEIOPA – Bernard Delbecque has been re-elected chair of the supervisory authority’s occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG), and Aleksandra Maczynska and Falco Valkenburg its vice-chairs. This OPSG will be the first to sit following a reform of the European supervisory authorities, which included changes to the stakeholder groups. One of these is that OPSG members are now elected for a four-year term, although the position of the chair is for two years.“It is a great honor for me to have been re-elected OPSG Chair for a two-year (nonrenewable) term,” said Delbecque on social media platform LinkedIn. “As chair, I may be asked to make a statement before the European Parliament and answer any questions from its members whenever so requested. This is a great new responsibility.” Delbecque is senior director, economics and research, at EFAMA, the European Fund & Asset Management Association. Maczynska is executive director at retail investor lobby group Better Finance, and Valkenburg is chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe. Odey Asset Management – The London active manager firm has appointed Jos Trusted as head of institutional business, a new role. He joins from CQS Limited where, as the CEO of the CQS New City Equities business, he led the successful launch of CQS’ long only equity investment business. Before CQS, Trusted was a partner at Pensato Capital, a UK-based European equities business.At Odey, Trusted will will focus on growing the firm’s institutional business through the development of its product range, the recruitment of new investment managers and the diversification of its international client base. HSBC Global Asset Management – Luther Bryan Carter (Bryan) is the asset manager’s new head of global emerging markets debt (EMD), taking over from Nishant Upadhyay, who remains with the firm and will focus on fixed income investment platform projects. While taking immediate oversight responsibility for all investment decisions, Carter’s first initiative and focus will be on deepening the country research function.He joins HSBC GAM from BNP Paribas Asset Management, where he was lead portfolio manager. Before joining BNP Paribas, he managed EMD and global absolute return bond capabilities at Acadian Asset Management for nine years and directed its quantitative fixed income research effort. He started his career as an economist at the US Treasury Department and T Rowe Price. HSBC said that since 2014, Carter has been deeply involved in the Emerging Markets Investors Alliance, a leading global non-profit network of institutional investors committed to advancing sustainable social and economic development in emerging markets.Preventable Surprises – Laura Berry is joining the responsible investment ‘think-do’ tank as a senior advisor. She spent nearly a decade as executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and 17 years as a large cap value portfolio manager with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. SheBerry currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Praxis Mutual Funds, a trustee and investment committee member for the Connecticut-based William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and is vice president of the Comitato Etico di Etica, Sgr in Milan, Italy. She is also a founding board member for both Majority Action (originally 50/50 Climate) and the Church Center for Peace and Justice, in New York City. Franklin Templeton – Julian Ide has been appointed head of EMEA distribution effective at the completion of Franklin Templeton’s acquisition of Legg Mason, which is expected on 31 July 2020. Edinburgh-based Ide will remain CEO of specialist investment organisation Martin Currie. He will report to Adam Spector, the recently-announced head of global advisory services.The core facets of Martin Currie will remain unchanged. Martin Currie will continue to have investment independence as well as institutional distribution and client service independence.
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