Denmark has the world’s largest pension sector relative to GDP, resulting in a strong asset management tradition in Copenhagen.

A transparent legal system, clear regulatory frameworks and easy access to talent offer financial institutions the optimal conditions for doing business in the investment industry.

Copenhagen has a strong investment industry that attracts both local and international talent. More than 2,000 professional portfolio managers work in Copenhagen, where Danish institutions are pioneering alternative investments.

The country benefits from clear regulatory frameworks, easily accessible regulators and a transparent and effective legal system, which makes establishing a financial business in Denmark straightforward.

The quality of the local talent pool is outstanding. Young professionals often have their international experience from studying and working abroad and compete effectively against other top-tier professionals globally. The local teamwork-oriented working culture helps to differentiate us from our Anglo-Saxon competitors.

Sandro Näf, CEO, Capital Four

A magnet for international asset management players

Danish asset managers deliver some of the best results in Europe – in fact Morningstar has rated Danish asset managers among Europe’s top three performers every year since 2002.

This strong performance has led to a substantial increase in international clients; asset management for foreign investors has doubled since 2010.

Assets under management at the end of 2015

France 3,787 174%
Germany 2,026 67%
Italy 1,156 70%
Denmark 367 135%
Belgium 279 68%
Austria 104 31%


It begins with the world’s largest pension sector

The large concentration of capital with the Danish pension funds has its roots in the Danish labour market model, where employees and employers have created a unique pension system.

This system has amassed assets of over EUR 500bn since its inception in the 1970s. Pension assets amount to twice Denmark’s GDP, which is more than four times the OECD average.

Denmark is home to no fewer than eleven of Europe’s top 100 pension funds. The largest is ATP, one of Europe’s leading asset managers with more than EUR 100bn under management.

11 of Europe's top 100 pension funds are in Danish

Largest Danish pension managers' European ranking by AuM (IPE 2017)

  • 4. ATP
  • 5. PFA Pension
  • 15. Danica Pension
  • 22. Sampension
  • 31. PKA
  • 40. PensionDanmark
  • 61. Industriens Pension
  • 72. PenSam
  • 86. DIP/JØPAP Pension
  • 94. MP Pension
  • 96. AP Pension

World leader in cleantech investments

Denmark offers an abundance of cleantech investment opportunities. For years, Danish pension funds have invested significantly in wind power and other cleantech projects.

In fact, Denmark is one of the world’s heaviest investors in cleantech, with close to a thousand companies active in the field – based on Denmark’s strong position in cleantech innovation led by companies such as Vestas, Grundfos, Danfoss and Ørsted.

This ecosystem has fostered highly specialised investment firms focusing on cleantech assets such as Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners invests in energy projects, primarily in Northern Europe and North America, in the form of wind farms and biomass power plants. We combine our experience from Danish cleantech companies with long-term capital and have delivered very competitive returns for our investors, which include Danish pension funds.

Jakob Barüel Poulsen, Managing Partner, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Export of Danish cleantech is supported by EKF, Denmark’s Export Credit Agency. The agency secures public and private financing for Danish cleantech and is a world leader in public financing of wind farms. EKF has a total portfolio of approx. EUR 10bn.

A fintech forerunner with a booming start-up community

Copenhagen boasts a diverse, collaborative and fast-growing fintech community with success stories such as Tradeshift, Pleo and Chainanalysis. It is built around one of Europe’s leading fintech incubators and accelerators, with a global network of partnerships that help companies scale internationally.

The booming fintech scene benefits from collaboration with and between the financial sector and the research community. Denmark’s innovative financial sector works closely with fintech start-ups and has made many investments in this area.

  • Close to 200 exciting start-ups work out of Copenhagen, spanning everything form credit rating and payment processing to capital raising and wealth management. The number of Copenhagen-based fintechs has nearly tripled in two years.
  • Danish fintech start-ups currently have more than 50 ongoing pilots and partnerships with banks, insurance companies and pension funds.

Easy to attract and retain talent

Copenhagen’s high quality of life makes it easy to attract and retain employees. The city has been named one of the most attractive cities to live in for expats, several times. And Monocle, Metropolis and Wallpaper are just some of the magazines to have joined the ranks of Copenhagen’s fans, ranking the city the world’s most liveable.

The city is green, safe, beautiful and cosmopolitan with good infrastructure and short commutes. Owing to low rents and free public services as well as an attractive tax scheme for foreign high-earners, Copenhagen is a cheaper place to live than most other major cities. And of course Danes have excellent English skills.

Copenhagen is one of Europe’s leading biopharma and medical technology hubs and is a nexus for healthcare innovation, venture capital and the stock market. As a significant healthcare investor with total assets of EUR 40bn, it’s a great advantage for Novo A/S to be based in Copenhagen. At a personal level, I find Copenhagen a great city to live in with so much to offer.

Kasim Kutay, CEO, Novo A/S, Former partner at Moelis & Company

This images shows the partners of Copenhagen financial hub.