DENMARK - Three pension funds for professionals are planning an alliance that would oversee DKK63bn (€8.46bn) for 70,000 members.

The trio are run for architects, veterinarians and teachers in higher education respectively, although the plans for the former two have co-operated since 2000.

Niels Erik Eberhard, current managing director at the fund for architects, said the new union was a case of "love at first sight".

"Marriages happen when the opportunity is right," he explained. "We share a similar strategy for the future."

Eberhard and his peer at MP Pension, Uffe Wang, will become joint chief executive officers of the mooted partnership, which would leapfrog PensionDanmark to become the country's fourth-largest pension fund alliance, after Sampension, PKA and PFA, which recently announced a plan to merge with FunktionaerPension, the scheme for secretaries and retail workers.

Niels Erik Petersen, current chief investment officer for the architects' fund will take up the role at the larger organisation.
His peer at MP Pension, Peter Mollerup will have a new position as head of staff.

Eberhard said the funds' existing investment teams were working on future strategy.

He expected to make savings in asset management deals with external managers and on administration. Costs at the fund for teachers and lecturers, which also covers psychologists, were 2% of premiums last year; 2.6% at the fund for veterinarians.

The three schemes would not alter their legal status or separate relations with unions and employers.

They will move to new offices, however. For the architects' fund, this means leaving its eighteenth-century mansion in Søholm Park, north of Copenhagen, although Eberhard was certain it would be put to another good use.