Austria’s Valida Holding, which includes the €4.7bn Valida pension fund, has appointed two new board members to work alongside chairman Andreas Zakostelsky.

Stefan Eberhartinger, who will continue to act as managing director of the €723m Valida Industriepensionskasse (formerly Siemens PK), will join the board of management at the Valida group.

Two years ago, he was “bought in” – together with the former company pension fund of Siemens – by the Valida Group, which is part of the Raiffeisen conglomerate in Austria.

“Valida wants to increase efficiency in the Valida Pension, which, over the years, had to integrate very different administrative platforms for various members,” Eberhartinger told IPE.

Together with IT expert Albert Gaubitzer, who joins from IT service provider Raiffeisen Service Centre (RSC), Eberhartinger’s first task will be to look into Valida Pension’s member database.

Meanwhile, Bernhard Breunlich is leaving the board of management at the Valida Holding to join the boards of the Valida Vorsorgekasse (managing severance pay funds) and Valida Consulting.

He will take up the newly created position of development of new business.

Robert Kerschbaumer has quit his position on the Valida board to focus on his responsibilities as head of the investment management division at Uniqa, an insurer and the second-largest shareholder in the Valida Group, alongside Raiffeisen and smaller shareholders.

Eberhartinger said harmonising membership databases would be his top priority, adding that one of the first things to be brought together under a single system would be pension payouts.

Whether asset management for the two funds will also be brought closer together over the long term is unclear.

At the Valida Industriepensionskasse, Macquarie is managing all the assets in a masterfund structure with a special focus on alternatives.

Combining the two pension funds is not on the agenda over the medium term, as the contract with Siemens obliges Valida to run the Pensionskasse as a separate entity for the next few years.