​Folksam’s foreign cull pays off, new chief warns of challenges ahead

first_imgSwedish pensions and insurance group Folksam says the halving of its foreign equities portfolio – an exercise the firm carried out last year to lower its carbon footprint – has been more effective than anticipated, and has cut carbon by 30%.Separately, in its 2019 results announcement, the firm’s new chief executive officer warned that there were challenges facing the company in the near future, in spite of the set of strong investment results it reported, with assets under management rising to SEK455bn (€43bn) from SEK404bn in 2018.Folksam said it had expected the decision – announced in May last year – to cull its SEK84bn foreign equities portfolio in order to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, but the move had in fact shrunk its carbon footprint by 30%.At the same time, the portfolio had beaten global stock markets, it said. Michael Kjeller, Folksam’s head of asset management and sustainability, said: “We are very pleased that the actual outcome has exceeded our expectations.”In the nine months of 2019 that the new portfolio had been in operation, its return surpassed that of global stock exchanges by between 1.3 and 1.5 percentage points, he said, adding that this positive outperformance trend had continued in early 2020.Reporting annual results, Ylva Wessén, Folksam group CEO, said: “In a changing environment, a higher rate of change is required in the business.”She highlighted three new areas of focus for the firm in the near future: an increase in digitisation; the need for increased pressure on companies to lower their carbon footprints in order to achieve net zero by 2050; and changing working methods and office structures within the company as a means of cutting operating costs to SEK5.3bn by 2022.Folksam reported total group premiums in 2019 rose by SEK1.7bn from the year before, to SEK56bn.Folksam Life, the life and pensions division, produced a 10.4% return in the year, up from 1.5% in 2018, with solvency increasing to 169% from 163%.Meanwhile, Folksam’s municipal pensions subsidiary KPA Pension reported a total investment return of 11.2%, up from 2018’s 0.5%, and a solvency ratio of 171%, increasing from 165% last year.Wessén was appointed in December as the permanent successor to the Folksam’s previous CEO Jens Henriksson, having been running the pensions and insurance group on a temporary basis since his departure at the end of last summer.last_img read more

Hope says didn’t do enough in ODI series, looks forward to T20s

first_imgKANDY, Sri Lanka (CMC) – Despite being the West Indies’ lead scorer in two of the three matches in the just concluded ODI series, Shai Hope has lamented that he did not do enough to give his side a desired victory over Sri Lanka.Hope made 238 runs at average of 79.3 runs per innings in the three-match series, top-scoring in the first match with 115 and again in the third with 72. He put 51 on the board in the second match against the hosts.But speaking to the media after West Indies lost their last contest to suffer a whitewash at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday night, the 26-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman said he wanted to do more as his team tried to record their first series win on Sri Lankan soil.“I feel as if I’m not scoring enough runs. I’m just trying to do my job for the team,” said Hope, who was on the field more than any other player in the series.“My job is to bat long and score runs and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get the wins in this series. They say there’s a learning curve for everything, so hopefully we can learn from this as quickly as possible and move on from there.”Hope also acknowledged that, overall, the West Indies “didn’t play the crucial moments well”, especially in the first and last contests.“Cricket is one of those games where you have to grasp those game-changing moments and we didn’t do that. I think Sri Lanka did that pretty well. So that’s one thing that I can highlight for this series and going forward, that is one thing we should really point out as a team,” he added.As the Caribbean men prepare for their T20 International series which will also be played here – the first match today and the second on Friday – they will be hoping to put the series loss behind them and learn from their mistakes.“We just have to continue believing in what we know we can do and what the team can achieve. We’ve done enough to get here and we just need to tick a few more boxes to get us across that line,” Hope said.“We’ve had a decent run of form in the past few ODI tours that we’ve had. So yes, it’s a 3-0 loss and a setback for us, but there’s a lot to look forward to. We can say we ticked some boxes in this series, but having said that, there’s a lot that we can work on. So, we’re looking forward to see what we have in store for the next series.”The squad will be looking to build momentum towards the ICC T20 World Cup which will be played in Australia later this year.Included are dynamic all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell who played vital roles when the West Indies won the World Cup under captain Darren Sammy in 2012 and again in 2016.Hope said he was pleased to be back in the T20 squad and hoped to learn from the duo.“I played one game against the Afghanistan team in India and I always want to play every format if I can. I’m just glad to be here again. They’ve (Russell and Bravo) been playing T20 cricket for however long now, and they have a heap of experience.I’m sure that the guys coming up, the new ones in the team, like myself, we can get some knowledge from them and hopefully they can continue doing what they do best and we can win this series coming up,” he said.last_img read more