NETHERLANDS - Commercial pensions manager, AZL has netted three new clients with over 9,500 participants in total, it announced.

It will take over the administration and will provide advisory services to the company pension funds of Grolsch breweries, DIY chain Gamma Holding and paper manufacturer Sappi.

The €205m Stichting Pensioenfonds voor de Grolsche Bierbrouwerijen - a career average DB scheme - joined AZL as of January 1. It has 800 active participants, 450 pensioners and 325 deferred members.

"Since I will take prepension next year, the company has decided to contract out the pension management," said Martin Hensenveld, who has been the scheme's administrator for 18 years. Until his departure, he will act as an advisor.

Stichting Pensioenfonds Gamma Holding also joined AZL as of January 1. The scheme, which has managed its administration so far, has 1,200 workers, 3,500 pensioners and 2,800 deferred members.

At the moment, AZL is investigating the exact service needs of Stichting Pensioenfonds Sappi Netherlands. AZL will provide full service as of January 1, 2009, it said. 

So far, Sappi has contracted out part of its administration to Aegon, a spokeswoman said. "Because our administrator has left the organisation, we have decided to contract out the administration completely," she added.

Sappi has chosen Heerlen-based AZL, because of its professionalism and expertise, as well as its attractive calculation. Another reason was its close proximity to Sappi's Maastricht office, the spokeswomen indicated.

Stichting Pensioenfonds Sappi is a DB scheme with 1,350 active participants, 1,800 pensioners and 1,250 deferred participants.

AZL has recently been acquired by ING Group. The new combination continues operating within ING as an independent company under the name AZL. It provides services to over 60 pension funds with over 470,000 participants, and has over €8bn of assets under management.