The scandal of all - this has happened
It has been called the biggest scandal since the premium pension system was introduced almost 20 years ago. The pension authority believes that the fund savers' money is used to enrich the owners. Here are all the tours around the pension company Allra.
The Swedish Fund Service was founded in 2008 by Alexander Ernstberger and David Persson. In 2013 , the company received harsh criticism from the Swedish Consumer Agency, including for aggressive sales methods and for sending out invoices for services that were never ordered. After the criticism, the company changes its name to Allra.
At the beginning of 2017 , Allra manages pensions worth approximately SEK 19 billion to approximately 130,000 savers. Thus, Allra is one of the largest players in the PPM system.
- Funds attract with confidence
Allra's funds are called "Allra Strategy Lagom" and "Allra Strategy Cautious". They hint at security, which is reinforced by well-known names on the board. Both Thomas Bodström (former Minister of Social Democratic Justice), Ebba Lindsö (former CEO of Swedish Enterprise) and Meg Tivéus (former CEO of Svenska Spel) sit on Allra's board.
On January 17, Avanza's savings economist Claes Hemberg warns Allra of Dagens Industri. He calls the funds rogue and the fees soaring.
- SvD's review shows lousy returns
On January 30, SvD begins publishing a review of Allra. Among other things, SvD shows that Allra marketed its funds with false arguments and that several funds have performed significantly worse than the average. Compared to the "soffliggar alternative", the state fund AP 7 Sofa, which you get if you do not choose funds, the return for Allra's funds has been lousy. At the same time, Allra's fund fees are many times higher.
Allra quickly withdraws claims about how good their own management has been and launches a package of measures for the entire fund operations.
- Chairman Lindsö leaves Allra
On February 9 , Allra's chairman Ebba Lindsö announces that she is leaving her post, but for several days refuses to answer questions. Thomas Bodström also jumps off later.
In February 2017, Expressen reports on the luxury life of Allra founders and other fund managers.
- Also Norwegian criticism
SvD reveals in February that some of Allra's leading people have a past at Oak Capital, a company that has received heavy criticism from the Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority. Among other things, the criticism concerns high fees in savings products.
On February 11, SvD reveals that PPM manager Allra has a secret company in the tax haven Dubai. However, the CEO does not want to tell us what the company does or how much money they make.
On February 14 , the Pensions Agency decides to immediately stop Allra's four funds, while the Authority is investigating whether Allra should be allowed to remain on the premium pension fund square.
- Savers flee Allra's funds
Following this message, many savers choose to withdraw their money and several billions are taken out of Allra's funds. A few days later, Allra also announces that a planned IPO is temporarily suspended.
On March 10, Meg Tivéus and a few other members also leave the Board.
- Purchased services for overpricing
On March 14, SR's Ekot reveals that Allra's savers may have missed a multimillion amount. This is after Allra (who at that time was called the Swedish Fund Service) paid heavy overpricing for financial services that they bought from Oak Capital, a company for which there are personal connections.
- All are thrown out of PPM
On March 16, at a press conference , the Swedish Pensions Agency announced that Allra is being thrown out of the pension system. In addition, the company is reported to the police. The money that is in Allra's funds will be transferred to "Såfan", ie the Seventh AP Fund.
"The strategy has been to use the funds of the fund savers to enrich the owners," says Katrin Westling-Palm, Director General of the Pension Authority.
Later, the funds were closed down and the money still left was transferred to the new owner Ålandsbanken's funds.
- SEK 16 billion at Allra
This is about SEK 16 billion, which around 130,000 pension savers have chosen to invest with Allra. The amount of money that pension savers have lost is unclear, but the pension authority's expert Monica Zettervall notes that the Allra scandal does not affect other savers.
A dispute arises between Allra and the Pension Authority about how quickly the money should be repaid.
- There is no guarantee for pension savers
The pension authority says that it is believed that in the case of Allra all money will be returned. This is because the assets are in salable assets.
But there is no "deposit guarantee", says the Swedish Pensions Agency's attorney general Mikael Westberg.
- The principle is that it is the savers who have chosen a fund that takes all the risk, he tells SVT News.
- Of all: incomprehensible decision
Allra's CEO and founder Alexander Ernstberger calls the Pension Authority's decision to oust the fund manager incomprehensible and tells SVT News that Allra will appeal.
- Minister of Finance: "for good"
The following day, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson (S) takes swearing judgments when SVT News asks questions about Allra. "It's damn good," she says.
After several scandals with fund companies in the premium pension system, there is now a broad political consensus that control must be tightened.
- The principal owners are reported to the police
Five people in Allra police are reported on March 21, 2017 by the Swedish Pensions Agency for non-compliance with the principal, serious crime, and preparation and stamping for the same crime. Among the police reports are the principal owners Alexander Ernstberger and David Persson. According to the Pension Authority, the people have acted in ways that indicate that they were most interested in enriching the shareholders, not to look to the best of the fund savers.
Everyone's CEO Alexander Ernstberger says he is surprised by the police report and the Swedish Pensions Authority's suspicions:
"That what started as a criticism of Allra's relatively low return has now resulted in a police report to us for alleged crime is of course a bit shocking," he writes in an email to TT.
He writes that the company will cooperate with the authority and that he is convinced that an upcoming police investigation will free both the company and the accused persons.
- The House of Commons will stop the decision
On Friday , March 24, the District Court decides on so-called inhibition - which means that the Pension Authority's decision to deregister Allra's funds from the premium pension system does not apply during the time the case is being tried.
However, the pension authority considers that the Supreme Court erred in "serious procedural error" and announces on Monday 27 March that it appealed the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court.
- The suspension is lifted - now it is possible to sell Allra funds
Since the scandal company Allra was thrown out of the premium pension system, the savers' money - SEK 16 billion - has been locked up.
On Tuesday, March 28, it will be announced that the Court of Appeal has decided to cancel the company from the fund square and now Allra no longer has control over the money.
The case takes a new turn in early May when the Bank of Åland takes over the capital in Allra's funds and moves it to its own. The Bank of Åland takes over management and promises a 15 per cent reduction in the fund fee.
- Suspicions of crime are served
Several people involved in the Eko Crime Authority's investigation of the people in Allra-hord have been heard and have now been served on suspicion of crime. This according to SvD Näringsliv 16 May .
- Prosecutors seize assets
On September 29, prosecutors seize SEK 140 million - this relates to profits that the pension company Allra has had in its operations in Dubai in 2015 and 2016, reports SvD.
At the same time, it appears that the Pension Authority will claim damages of SEK 242 million from people who have been involved in the management company Oak Capital and the pension company Allra.
On September 29, a person, with links to Oak Capital, was also arrested on suspicion of gross misconduct against the principal.
- The All-Founder is arrested
On October 13, 2017, Allra's founder and former CEO Alexander Ernstberger was arrested on suspicion of probable cause for gross misconduct against the principal. According to the prosecutor, he faces up to eight years in prison. The 31-year-old himself denies all allegations of crime. Another two of Allra's former managers are also arrested.
The district court also decided to retain SEK 242 million in Ernsberger's personal assets and companies. This is to secure money before a possible conviction.
- Four people are charged
On October 1, 2018, four people will be indicted, including former CEO Alexander Erstberger. The criminal charges include, among other things, bribery, serious crime, and gross taking of bribes, infidelity to the principal and money laundering, according to the indictment.