APG’s 157 staff based in New York and Hong Kong received three-quarters of the €31.5m of bonuses the Dutch asset manager paid out last year.

In its annual report, APG emphasised that the amount of variable pay hadn’t increased, attributing the €3m rise solely to currency effects. It said the lion’s share of bonuses was paid out in US dollars.

The overseas investment staff – responsible for investing APG’s €443bn worth of assets – received €160,000 of variable pay on average.

APG reiterated that bonuses were part and parcel of the remuneration culture in the US and Hong Kong, and were necessary to attract and retain staff.

APG’s annual report showed that the number of staff earning more than €1m doubled to six following the currency effect.

By comparison, Gerard van Olphen, APG’s chief executive, received €448,000 last year. Van Olphen and other trustees do not qualify for a bonus.

Variable pay in the Netherlands is considerably lower, with no more than €7.5m of bonuses available for the 375 staff of APG Asset Management based in the country.

Last year, APG achieved returns for its main clients – the €389bn civil service scheme ABP and the €54bn sector scheme for the building sector (BpfBouw) – of 9.6% and 8.2% respectively. This amounted to a net €40bn in total, excluding the effect of their interest rate hedging programme.

Harmen Geers, spokesman for APG, said that the asset manager’s policy was aimed at maximising in-house management to keep overall costs down and to keep a grip on implementation.

“Although qualified staff are relatively expensive, we save substantially on costs relative to external asset management,” he said.

APG said that its investment process had been incorporated into a new fiduciary model last year, with a clearer separation between fiduciary management, asset management, and risk management.

The group hired Hans Rademaker from Robeco earlier this year as chief fiduciary officer.

The asset manager and pension provider’s turnover rose by €141m to €1.1bn in 2016, largely due to the return from Loyalis, its insurance subsidiary. It added that it had to contribute €57m to cover Loyalis’ liabilities in the wake of falling interest rates. In contrast, the insurer delivered a €129m surplus over 2015.

APG said its earnings from pensions provision decreased €10m last year, due to downward pressure on prices.

It added that its operational costs rose €17m to €644m following outsourcing of some activities.