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SEB

Wallenberg to step down from Investor

Marcus Wallenberg is to step down as President and CEO of major investment company Investor.

Although Wallenberg’s role was expected to change as he is scheduled to become Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce next year, the news that he is to step down as managing director comes as something of a surprise. The decision comes in conjunction with the proposal that he become Chairman of SEB.

“After six intensive years as President and CEO – and against the background of my proposed chairmanship of SEB – it is a natural step for me to hand over Investor to a new CEO. Investor has developed strongly over the past two years and has a solid financial position today,” Marcus Wallenberg said in a press statement today.

Wallenberg, who turns fifty next year and has headed the company since 1997, is to be replaced by Börje Ekholm on 1 September, 2005.

Ekholm, 42, has been employed by Investor since 1992. He has been Executive Vice President and Head of the New Investments business area since 2000 and is currently a director on the boards of several of Investor’s holdings, including WM-data in Sweden and Tessera Technologies, Inc. in the U.S.

“I am excited about taking over the leadership of Investor and I feel confident about taking the company forward. Investor is well positioned to successfully develop companies and generate long-term attractive returns for shareholders,” says Börje Ekholm.

The appointment of Ekholm comes as no real surprise. Like Wallenberg, Ekholm is a diplomatic businessman known for his cautious approach.

INVESTOR

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability.

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr
 
From January to March 2014 the group – one of the largest investors in Nordic-based multinationals including Saab, Atlas Copco and Ericsson —
reported a 25 percent drop in profits from a year earlier to 12.14 billion kronor ($1.85 billion).
   
However the group's net asset value, at 227,584 billion kronor grew by 5.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
   
Founded over a century ago by the Wallenberg family, the Investor group is often seen as a barometer for the economic health of Sweden, given the large number of indigenous companies which are partly owned by the group.
   
Among its main investments are engineering company Atlas Copco (16.8 percent share), SEB bank (20.8 percent), the Swiss-Swedish engineering and
robotics firm ABB (8.1 percent) and the white goods group Electrolux (15.5 percent).
   
Group president Börje Ekholm said in a statement that current geopolitical uncertainty "will increase the uncertainty for our export companies".
   
The groups shares were down 0.7 percent in late afternoon trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in an overall market down 1.2 percent.
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