The infrastructure platform set up by Swedish national pension fund two years ago is losing its first CEO.
Niklas Ekvall, CEO of AP4, told IPE Real Assets that a new CEO was needed ahead of scaling up the Polhem Infra business.
Lundin had “developed Polhem Infra and its organisation from a start-up to a well-established investment organisation, fully in line with the directives of the owners”, he said.
“Ahead of entering into this new phase, Mikael has notified the board and the owners that he is of the opinion that a new CEO should step in to lead the company in this next stage of its development.”
Karin Karlström has been named acting CEO. Ekvall said Lundin would stay at the company for a period to support the new CEO in coming up to speed quickly.
He added that the owners and board were grateful to Lundin and his contributions to establish Polhem Infra as an investor in infrastructure in the Nordic region.
Johan Skoglund, chair of the company’s board, said: “We have the utmost confidence in Karin as acting CEO, as she has excellent knowledge of Polhem Infra and its operations.”
Karlström also had experience from the industry, specifically digital infrastructure, he said, adding: “This is the ideal solution until a permanent successor can be found.”
Asked about the move, Lundin told IPE Real Assets: “I have decided to leave, it’s my own personal decision. My next plans are open, nothing is decided.”
Polhem said Karlström was joining the company from a role as senior adviser and member of the board, which she had held since February 2021.
The company said she has a strong background in the tech and telecoms sector, with long experience of leading teams, making corporate investments and concluding business transactions.
“She is very familiar with Polhem Infra, and will lead the company until a new CEO has been appointed,” it said.
Karlström was director, mergers and acquisitions, at Swedish telecoms giant Telia for four year up until the end of November 2018.
A year ago, Polhem Infra made its first investment in digital infrastructure, buying the data carrier subsidiary of Telia for €900m.
The joint venture had made several other investments, particularly in renewable energy, acquiring a 21.5% stake in Solör Bioenergi in the summer of 2020, after investing alongside others in the Skaftåsen onshore wind project in Sweden.
Polhem Infra was launched in April 2019 by AP1, AP3 and AP4 – the three larger national pension buffer funds that are located in Stockholm – to target major public and private-sector infrastructure deals.
At the beginning of that year, changes had been made to the investment mandate for the buffer funds which increased their capacity to put money into illiquid and alternative assets.