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Ex-Belgian pensions minister joins consultant

BELGIUM – Former Belgian pensions minister Freddy Willockx has joined the new full-service consulting firm Akkermans Stroobants & Partners.

The firm’s co-founder Karel Stroobants said Willockx joins Belgian MP Eric Andre and former VKG finance director Carl Haeck at the venture, which launched earlier this year.

“We just wanted to create a company in Belgium to make the Vandenbroucke law a success,” Stroobants said. “If you have a question about pensions we can solve it.”

He added the venture was a new concept that takes a “holistic view” of a pension fund.

The new company was set up by Dutch group Akkermans and Stroobants, the former head of the VKG/CPM fund in Brussels and who set up its Amonis insurance operation.

The firm will price its services on a case-by-case basis – with the emphasis on building long-term relationships with clients, Stroobants said. The focus would initially be Belgium then possibly Luxembourg.

The Antwerp-based firm named Haeck as managing director in May. He joined from VKG/CPM Amonis, the pension fund for doctors, dentists and chemists in Belgium.

There will be several product lines, including: business process outsourcing, training, temporary staff as well as a magazine, software and a database of pensions legislation.

Stroobants said the Belgian pension funds face “huge constraints” on the administration side – with up 3.4million possible individual accounts.

“That’s the market we want,” he added. “Outsource what you can but keep your autonomy.”

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