Holding on to the No. 2 position on this list is the ABG Sundal Collier group, which since June has been managed by newly minted co-heads of global research Ole Petter Kjerkreit and Christer Linde. Former leader Karl Berglund now runs the firm’s Sweden operations and is a member of the executive committee. A Stockholm-based strategist, 43-year-old Linde joined the firm in August 2008 to work as a technical and quantitative analyst. He previously held a similar position at Carnegie Investment Bank and built quant models at Delphi Economics. The 43-year-old earned a master’s degree in economics at Uppsala Universitet in Sweden. The analyst holds a degree in business and administration from Norges Handelshøyskole. Their 35-person troupe also has members stationed in Copenhagen, and together the analysts report on 210 companies in the region. The researchers are “very experienced,” reports one U.K. portfolio manager. “Some of them have been around forever, and that makes them very valuable across many sectors. Since we don’t get the Swedish papers here in London, their local knowledge makes them valuable, especially on a lot of the small caps. Their stock calls are usually very good, [marked by] a rigorous review process with plenty of substance.” For the year ahead, the analysts are highlighting Oslo-based chemicals company Yara International as a quality play. The world’s largest producer of mineral fertilizers is benefiting from management’s smart acquisition strategy, falling natural gas prices and favorable movements in foreign exchange rates, the squad advises. Trading at 344.40 Norwegian kroner in mid-January, the shares hold a target price of Nkr425. ABG Sundal Collier’s researchers continue to urge investors to buy shares of Alfa Laval, which manufactures equipment for use in large-scale operations in the energy, food and marine sectors. This diversified industry exposure combined with an attractive valuation underpin their ongoing optimism on the name. Their price objective of 180 Swedish kronor represents a 30.4 percent premium to the stock’s value in mid-January.