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ABP to expand European engagement partnerships (amended)

NETHERLANDS - The €218bn Dutch pension fund ABP is due to expand its cooperation with a number of other European pension funds to create new external stakeholder engagement partnerships.

Speaking at a presentation on indexation in Amsterdam, Roderick Munsters, chief investment officer at Holland's largest fund, said the fund is in talks with various large European institutional investors and pension funds to create more opportunities to engage with companies about their corporate conduct.

He declined to reveal with which funds ABP currently is holding discussions with, though added there are only a few possible partners that are large enough for such cooperation.

ABP sees such a move as a way to combine "brains and money", which would eventually deliver more effective investments, said Munsters.

He also said the fund would prefer to create innovative socially-responsible investments, rather than following the already existing offerings.

"We like to venture out ourselves to look for possibilities that others cannot reach yet, or that others haven't even contemplated yet," he said.

Earlier this year,  the €88bn PGGM pension fund and ABP announced a combined €500m private investment in clean technology, as well as a combined €200m investment in a new fund in wind energy and biomass in Western Europe.

ABP and PGGM also invest together with their private equity vehicle AlpInvest Partners.

Moreover, ABP has entered into cooperation agreements in the past with, among others, the Dutch corporate governance platform Eumedion, research organisation Innovest, and the International Corporate Governance Network.

IPE reported earlier this month ABP is co-funding the Dutch expansions by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global standardised mechanism by which companies report their greenhouse gas emissions to their investors. (See earlier IPE story: ABP reviews energy investments)

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email carolyn.bandel@ipe.com

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