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Vilhelm Hultgren from Fondtorgsnämnden is our Fund Selector of the Month
Fund selectors

Vilhelm Hultgren from Fondtorgsnämnden is our Fund Selector of the Month

Vilhelm Hultgren, Procurement and Product strategy at Fondtorgsnämnden (The Swedish Fund Selection Agency), is our Fund Selector of the Month.
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8 MAY, 2024

By Jose Luis Palmer from RankiaPro Europe


Meet Vilhelm Hultgren, an agile and curious finance enthusiast whose passion for sports and adventure is matched by his profound appreciation of nature's beauty.

With global experience spanning from asset and investment management, along with servicing as a senior investment adviser to institutional investors as well as consulting on alternative investments and managing discretionary portfolios, he brings a wealth of expertise to the table. 

Vilhelm was born and raised on the countryside of southern Sweden, nestled along the shores of the North Sea. Growing up in this coastal environment sparked his interest in sailing and rowing, leading him to participate at a junior level for the Swedish national sailing team and compete in both the Swiss and Swedish national championships in rowing. Following his upbringing, he ventured across central Europe, residing and working in various countries including Switzerland, France, and Luxembourg.

In addition to pursuing master's studies in financial engineering and economics, Vilhelm also delved into philosophy, history, and business law at bachelor's level. 

With a keen interest in politics from a young age, he was elected to the board of the student unions in Sweden, where he advocated for student interests nationwide, particularly emphasizing financial affairs and housing issues.

Having an entrepreneurial drive, he initiated three ventures across diverse industries before reaching the age of 26.

What made you decide to go into the financial sector? Did you have any other vocations?

I have always been curios to understand how different things are interconnected, to do an analysis trying to predict the outcome of future events. In the financial sector the opportunities to do this is endless. “Putting up the dominos of the market and see if they all fall down.” I began investing in the market already at high school marking my initial exploration into this realm. It was just before the financial crisis, so it was sort of the same euphoria in the markets as it has been now for the last years. At university I was a student representative in the investment committee for the “endowment” at Lund University, where I learned a lot from the very senior investors that was part of the committee, which some of them were the biggest names in the 80’s and 90’s in Sweden, I did learn plentiful that you do not learn in normal lectures, this was also when I decided that I wanted to go into the investment management part of finance. During the same period, I was elected president of a non-profit organization that had a quite decent investment portfolio that financed the organizations operations, there I was ultimately responsible for the investment selection of single names and investment funds.  For two semesters I also tried out to be an equity analyst, covering mainly real-estate. Probably due to my interest in the mechanics of the market and some experience of investments, I got the opportunity after university to try out to work with strategic and tactical asset allocation at UBS within the discretionary portfolio management for their UHNWI. Then my professional career had started!

What does a typical workday look like for you? How do you organise your time

I am employed at The Swedish Fund Selection Agency, a governmental body entrusted with the task of procuring, monitoring, and quality-ensure the funds within the Swedish premium pension system.
As one of the Project Managers, I oversee the entire procurement process, from analyzing strategies and markets to generating RFP materials, assessing tenders, and conducting final interviews. Over the coming years, we anticipate procuring approximately €100 billion across 30 strategies. We recently completed the procurement of European equity funds and are currently engaged in procuring Index funds with a focus on Europe and Global markets, followed by Nordic equity funds. Our operations are minimally affected by short-term market fluctuations and trends, given the strategies we select for procurement.

In terms of organisation as a Project Manager, I've discovered that implementing the timeboxing methodology is incredibly effective in optimizing productivity and making sure time is utilized efficiently.  

What aspects do you consider most important when selecting a fund for a portfolio?

The agency operates under legal regulations, mandated to procure funds that are suitable, of high quality, cost-effective, and sustainable. Our fund procurements are among the most extensive globally, involving thorough due diligence into the operational aspects of fund management. It's crucial for us to comprehend factors such as investment philosophy and implementation, avoiding any black box scenarios. Understanding how fund managers plan to generate returns is of utmost importance to us. 

What have you been reading recently?

I am fond of British literature and for leisurely purposes I recently read “The Secret Adversary” by Agatha Christie, it was a perfect companion when I was in Norway ski-touring a few weeks ago.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a selector?

In my present position, transparency and equal treatment of all industry participants are paramount. It's crucial to maintain an impeccable reputation, leaving no room for doubt about my integrity. While it's not difficult to uphold these principles, I ensure to embody them consistently in all interactions within the financial sector.

When you have free time, what d you like to do?

Being born on the Swedish countryside, I'm someone who thrives in the outdoors, two of the most gratifying experiences for me are rowing early in the morning before work, only the boat and birdsong being my companions. Secondly, exploring the mountains by ski-touring, regardless of the weather forecast. Ski-touring allows me to utilize my natural talent for calculated risk-taking and strategic planning which us crucial in my job. While I'll always cherish the thrill of adventure in the great outdoors, it's the simple joy of cooking a delicious meal for my family and friends that truly warms my soul.

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