NETHERLANDS - Asset manager APG has sacked two investment employees for breaching the firm's code of conduct and parallel trading.

APG said in a statement that the staff have been dismissed for "insufficiently separating private and corporate transactions".

Thijs Steger, spokesman for APG, said an internal investigation had found the employees had been 'parallel running' trading in the same equity as their employer, albeit their activity had not created any financial losses to APG's clients.

The breach of the code of conduct was spotted through APG's internal compliance system, which offers an insight into employees' private investments, according to Steger.

He declined to indicate the scale of the illegal equity trading, but suggested the individuals concerned are unlikely to have gained much from their activities and the breach may only have occurred for a brief period.

This is not the first time pension assets have been caught up in parallel running as it was considered to be a serious problem in Switzerland until regulation was altered in 2007. While not illegal at the time, a scandal involving kickbacks related to investments in Swissfirst eventually exposed the dual trading practice to the public and the authorities shut it down. (See earlier IPE article: Swiss moves to tighten regulation)

According to APG, it sacked the individuals last month after completing an internal investigation into the nature and the scale of the violations.

It has also informed the pensions regulators De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Financial Markets Authority (AFM).

APG is the asset manager for the €200bn civil service scheme ABP and services 25 other clients under the APG Brand.

The Dutch asset management house has approximately 500 staff.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email