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Flemish VRT goes Belgacom route

Belgium's second largest public pension fund, VRT, the Flemish television and radio company, has selected managers for its Bfr8.2bn($221m) in assets, following its shift from insurance to pension scheme provision at the end of 1997.

VRT is the second scheme of its kind to outsource its fund management, after Belgacom paved the way for such moves.

Rothschild Asset Management has clinched a global bond portfolio of Bfr4bn, beating off intense interest from almost 50 other investment managers.

Competition was equally fierce for the funds two Emu equity/real estate briefs of Bfr1.4bn each, which according to Hugo de Vreese, chief executive officer of the fund, mark increased anticipation of euro arrival.

The mandates were scooped by KBC and ABN AMRO, and a further non-Emu equity fund of BFr1.3bn was picked up by State Street.

De Vreese, said: Using the Belgacom process as an example, we judged the managers along with our advisers Watson Wyatt on the criteria of their invest process, team, reporting skills, and then fees. We felt those selected would be the best at fulfilling the investment returns we need to meet the liabilities that are not sufficiently covered at VRT today."

Contributions to the fund sit at 7.5% and 19.5% of gross salary for employee and employer respectively, with a government addition of Bfr775m per annum. The non-profit making scheme is controlled by members of the company's management, board and unions, and overseen by a government official. Hugh Wheelan"

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