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Biggest Commercial Fund in Denmark Starts Active Share Ownership

PFA A/S, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension fund with more than 400 billion kroner ($75 billion) in assets, is planning to take a more active role in its share ownership.

PFA will seek to increase its influence through direct dialogue with the companies in its portfolio, the Copenhagen-based fund said today in a statement. Jesper Langmack, head of asset management, will also start appearing at company shareholder meetings to voice the fund’s opinions.

PFA’s two biggest share holdings are a 3.02 billion-krone stake in the world’s biggest insulin maker, Novo Nordisk A/S, and a 1.52 billion-krone holding in shipping company A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, according to Dec. 31 data. Its largest holdings also include Danske Bank A/S, Carlsberg A/S and TDC A/S. The fund has in recent years concentrated its Danish equity ownership in fewer companies through bigger stakes, it said in today’s statement.

“We want to be perceived as a professional and responsible asset manager that the pension customers can trust and that other institutional investors want to cooperate with,” Langmack said in the statement. “Therefore we need to have a more active approach.”

PFA will stop short of becoming an activist investor, it said.

“It’s in our interest that the value of companies isn’t damaged,” Langmack said. “It would therefore be outright stupid to air criticism to the media of a company that we own.”

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