Sweden’s public pension funds have announced plans to overhaul the country’s influential Council on Ethics, in a move that will see the departure of its longstanding head, John Howchin.
The council is overseen by four of the six funds that make up Sweden’s national pension system, known collectively as the ‘AP funds’, and it has advised them on responsible investment and stewardship activities since 2007. In particular, the body provides recommendations on how to address issues such as human rights and the environment at portfolio companies, and when to divest. Two members of each fund are assigned to the Council.
But now, AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4 have said they will together conduct “a strategic review” of the Council, in response to heightened emphasis on ESG and responsible investment at the funds.
“Since its formation, the Council on Ethics has engaged thousands of listed foreign companies in dialogue,” they said in a statement. “Sust…