NETHERLANDS - Robeco's Ronald Wuijsters has been appointed as the new head of research at ABP Investments Pensioenfonds, the fund confirmed today.

Starting yesterday, Wuijsters joined from IRIS, the research institute of Rabobank and Robeco focusing on private investors, where he had been director of research since 2003.

He succeeds Rob Bauer, who will start a research centre for durability and corporate governance at the University of Maastricht's European Centre for Corporate Engagement.

Also Bauer plans to set up a Pension and Insurance Academy with Maastricht's business school and Netspar for executives and professions and both sectors.

Nonetheless, Bauer will remain with ABP on a part-time basis.

Before joining IRIS three years ago, Wuijsters worked for Robeco for over a decade, joining the firm at the end of 1990 as a portfolio managers equities and working his way up to head of corporate strategy development.

Dutch civil service scheme ABP is Europe's largest pension fund with more than 2.5m members and €190bn of assets.

It emerged last week that ABP has acquired an interest of almost 4% in the listed London property investment from Shaftesbury PLC.

It did not want to say if the shares were acquired all at once and if they were bought recently. "We do not report about the buying and selling of listed individual investments," said spokesman Michel Meijs.