NETHERLANDS - Jelle Beenen, who until this week was head of alternative investments at PGGM, is planning to help smaller pension funds devise innovative strategies in his new role at Mercer.

Beenen, who announced his departure for the consulting firm last month, told IPE he will head a department which does not yet exist at his new employer, namely the earlier-announced investment strategy consulting department.

Within the new department, Beenen will seek to help Mercer's current Dutch clients devise their own alternative strategies in a custom-made fashion.

He added he will also look, in particular, at helping smaller pension funds by using his expertise as head of the pioneering portfolio of strategies team with PGGM, and wants to offer a similar service as part of Mercer.

"Each fund has its own strong points, but not all funds can implement innovative strategies themselves," Beenen told IPE.

In a presentation during the ALM 2008 conference, being held in Amsterdam yesterday and today, Beenen presented his view on alternative investing, arguing alternative means both diversifying into "different investments, but also investing differently".

PGGM's strategies portfolio - which currently accounts for 3% of the PFZW's entire assets including investments such as timber, carbon emission rights and catastrophe bonds -  focuses on strategies which enforce desired risks but filter out the undesired risks, aiming for structural return sources separate of the market benchmarks, according to Beenen.

PGGM is a division of the PFZW pension fund, separated earlier this year to manage the €90bn in assets and administration of the pension fund.

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