Dutch asset manager APG is taking over the data analytics team for sustainable investing from Deloitte Nederland.

APG – the investment manager for the €403bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP – said the takeover would significantly accelerate its use of artificial intelligence and big data for sustainable and responsible investing.

Thirteen former Deloitte employees will work for APG in an independent business unit, the asset manager said. Their job will be to identify listed companies that make an important contribution to solutions for climate change, or for problems in healthcare and education.

“The technical infrastructure and the team’s smart algorithms are fully operational and are a very good fit with APG’s current investing activities,” said the asset manager in a statement.  

Ronald Wuijster, interim member of the executive board of APG Group, said: “We are constantly seeking out innovative and sustainable investment opportunities to achieve the highest possible return at the lowest possible costs.

“Using the unique knowledge this team has in relation to big data and artificial intelligence will make us even better at that.”

APG said it “invests fully in new technology”, in relation to investments and pension administration. It has a special team that develops algorithms using, among other things, contact history, personal data, pension details, and the online browsing behaviour of large groups of participants.

“By combining this information for different target groups, it can be predicted with high reliability when they will contact the pension fund in relation to which topic,” said APG. “These insights are used to proactively approach the pension fund participants, but also to communicate more efficiently and effectively with the participants.”

Last year APG and PGGM completed a prototype of a blockchain-driven pension administration system. 

ABP has aimed to allocate €58bn to sustainability investments by 2020. These are investments in companies, deals or projects that provide “solutions to sustainability challenges”, guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.