NETHERLANDS - Pensions investor Syntrus Achmea has been awarded two large mandates from its parent company, Dutch insurance group Achmea.

As part of the agreement, Syntrus Achmea will take over part of Achmea's derivatives portfolio - with an underlying value of €20bn - used to hedge the risks on Achmea's fixed income investments.

In addition, Achmea has awarded its subsidiary a €1bn fiduciary mandate for alternative investments, under which Syntrus Achmea will select and monitor asset managers.

Syntrus Achmea is already managing Achmea's €14bn real estate portfolio - making it the largest property investor in the Netherlands - as part of a total of €57bn of assets under management for other institutional investors.

Gerard van Olphen, chief financial officer and vice-chairman of Achmea's executive board, said: "Achmea is sticking with its multi-manager strategy, subject to strict quality and mandate requirements. Within this strategy, we have identified scope for a significant and more-prominent role for Syntrus Achmea."

At year-end, Achmea's total investment portfolio was approximately €42bn.

Commenting on the new mandates, Hans Snijders, chairman at Syntrus Achmea, said: "This award is a testament to [our] evolution as a fiduciary manager and asset manager."

He stressed that his company's recent investment track record was also a factor in the award of both mandates.

Achmea is a unlisted insurance group with co-operative roots. Outside its home market, Achmea is also active in seven other European countries and employs around 21,000 staff.

Together with its six brands, such as Interpolis and Centraal Beheer Achmea, it is the largest insurance group in the Netherlands in terms of premium volume.