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Asset Management

Lifsverk's asset management is responsible for day to day management of the funds assets. Its most important role is to keep risk and return at a balance, so that Lifsverk is able to honour all its future obligations, with minimal risk.

The team has an average experience of 16 years in the financial markets.

Lifsverk's asset management is responsible for day to day management of the funds assets. Its most important role is to keep risk and return at a balance, so that Lifsverk is able to honour all its future obligations, with minimal risk.

The team has an average experience of 16 years in the financial markets.


Hreggviður Ingason
Chief Investment Officer (CIO)

hreggvidur at lifsverk.is 

Eymundur Freyr Þórarinsson
Fund Manager

eymundur at lifsverk.is

Lífsverk's Policy on Responsible Investments

January 2020

1. Purpose

Responsible investments involve applying other methods than those that only maximize financial gains. The responsible investment policy is a way to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG1) factors, as well as active ownership, in the investment decision process. Lífsverk sees this practice as a key factor in reducing risk and increasing long-term returns on investments.
In 2016, Icelandic laws on mandatory insurance and pension rights (Section 36. 129/1997) were amended so that each pension fund is obligated to set ethical standards in its investment policy. The amended law came into effect on July 1st, 2017. By creating and implementing this policy, Lífsverk has now fulfilled this obligation and also stated its will and ambition to be a responsible investor.
Responsible investments enhance society's welfare and Lífsverk wants to take a leading role.

2. Goals and emphasis

Lífsverk's goal is to collect and manage contributions from its members and invest responsibly to benefit its members upon retirement. The board is responsible for implementing an investment policy annually and to clarify how the fund can achieve this goal, considering the balance of risk and return on investments.

Alongside Lífsverk's investment policy, the board is responsible for implementing this policy on responsible investments. In the board's view, financial and ESG goals go hand in hand and eventually result in a better standard of life for its pension fund members.

To reach those goals, Lífsverk has signed an agreement with UN PRI (United Nations Principles for Responsible Investments) and thereby committed to comply with its six principles:

  • 1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes. 
  • 2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices. 
  • 3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest. 
  • 4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry. 
  • 5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles. 
  • 6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
These principles are the foundation for Lífsverk's methodology to incorporate ESG into the investment decision making process.
Information and education on the methodology of responsible investments is crucial and Lífsverk's objective is to be an active participant. Lífsverk is among the founders of IcelandSIF – an Icelandic organization for promoting responsible investments by education and training. Lífsverk's employees are active within IcelandSIF.

Lífsverk pays attention to its members' views and opinions on responsible investments and encourages them to take part in improving their pension fund. The fund's website will be updated to allow members to participate in the implantation process by submitting their comments and ideas.

3. Sustainability

In 2015, the UN established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All member states of the UN have committed to the goals, including Iceland. The goals are a call to action to enhance the quality of life on earth.


Lífsverk will do its part in working towards sustainability and enhanced quality of life before 2030. We believe the fund to be in a position to further most of the goals, but especially goals 5, 7, 8, 9 and 13. Lífsverk's investment strategy will thus be shaped by them.
In 2020, investment decisions will be made in accordance with goals 8 and 9. Goal 8 centers on decent work and economic growth. To establish sustainable economic growth, societies needs to enable the creation of decent jobs for its inhabitants. Prolonged economic growth can fuel innovation and progress, creating jobs for all and enhance quality of life. By investing in projects adhering to this goal, the fund is able to take part in building infrastructure, creating more jobs and securing equal opportunities for workers and worker rights. Goal 9 covers infrastructure, sustainable industry and innovation, so the two goals go hand in hand.

4. Lífsverk's methodology in incorporating ESG into the investment process

Lífsverk's methodology is fourfold:

  • 1. Investment process 
  • 2. Follow-up 
  • 3. Reporting and transparency 
  • 4. Shareholder policy

4.1 Investment process

Lífsverk has certain expectations of its investment projects and fund managers when it comes to social responsibility. When assessing investment opportunities, Lífsverk excludes the following asset categories:

  •  Manufacturers of controversial weapons 
  • Companies that build their business on tobacco manufacturing 
  • Companies that don't respect human rights 
  • Companies that act irresponsibly with respect to nature
This means Lífsverk will not invest directly in projects that fall under the categories and operations named on this list, or in funds with an asset portfolio made up of more than 5% of investments in total in such operations.
Lífsverk does not invest in projects or entrust its funds to third parties who don't have an active social responsibility policy or that do not plan to implement such a policy in the immediate future.
The asset management team at Lífsverk will do a diligence assessment on every investment opportunity based on social responsibility and Lífsverk's policy. At a minimum, Lífsverk will base its assessment on the questionnaire in Appendix I. The questionnaire is based on the UN SDGs Lífsverk emphasizes, as well as the exclusion list.

4.2 Follow-up

In order to monitor the aspects of ESG that Lífsverk emphasizes, and the ESG progress achieved, Lífsverk's assets are classified as A, B or C according to the criteria below:

Investments are classified by frequency in each group. The fund's aim is to increase investments that fall into group A from year to year, and to make sure that more than 50% of the fund's assets reflect the fund's policy on responsible investments within two years.
Lífsverk's aim in 2020 is to have a better score than the MSCI index in ESG factors within the measurable part of the portfolio. Lífsverk will encourage companies that have not been able to measure ESGs to disclose measurable information.

4.3 Reporting and transparency

As a member of UN PRI, Lífsverk submits annual reports in accordance to UN PRI principle 6. Lífsverk's first report was submitted in 2019 and was deemed insufficient. For 2020, Lífsverk aims to improve the rating of the previous report. The purpose of this policy is, in part, to meet the reporting standards required. Lífsverk's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is responsible for the UN PRI report.
By the end of 2020, Lífsverk will report progress to the board and disclose if and how the goals have been met. That report will then be published on the fund's website.
Lífsverk monitors policy deviations, the nature of the deviation and how they were resolved internally.
Lífsverk's asset management team will implement the fund's policy on responsible investments in co-operation with the fund's CEO and CMO.

4.4 Shareholder policy

Lífsverk aims at better governance and increased transparency. The fund's board has written a shareholder policy, accessible on the fund's website.

5. Goals in responsible operations and environment

Lífsverk's internal goals include management, human resources and the environment. Lífsverk emphasizes environmental issues in its operations. All waste is sorted and disposed of responsibly. If possible, digital communication is used instead of printed. Lífsverk's annual report is published digitally on the fund's website, instead of on paper. Presentations on paper are not accepted and all parties are advised to share digital copies instead. The principal rule is to minimize waste in the workplace by adhering to eco-friendly purchasing guidelines and making an effort to reduce the use of single-use containers and utilities.
In 2020, Lífsverk will offset the carbon footprint of all long-distance trips made by employees.
Lífsverk encourages its employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, subsidizes sport activity, and offers annual medical checkups. Lífsverk also encourages staff to take an active part in charities in the local community.

6. Reporting and revisions of the policy

The board will annually survey and revise the policy on responsible investments. The policy will be updated accordingly on the fund's website. The Chief Investment Officer (CIO) is responsible for revising the policy. The CEO is responsible for promoting the policy internally and aiding employees in adapting to it in their daily tasks.
The policy introduces a new methodology in Lífsverk's investments and therefore it is important to have it translated to English and make it accessible to a wider audience. Therefore, the policy is to be published and updated in English on the fund's website.

The policy was approved by the Board of Lífsverk on January 22nd, 2020.