Bakers scheme replaces Lombard Odier with NN IP as fiduciary manager

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Bakkers, the €4bn pension fund for the Dutch bakery sector, has replaced Lombard Odier with NN Investment Partners as its fiduciary manager.

Both the pension fund’s accountability body (VO) and the Dutch regulator (DNB) have argued in recent years that asset management and fiduciary management at Lombard Odier, which has served as fiduciary manager for Bakkers since 2010, were insufficiently separated.

Lombard Odier also managed Bakkers’s European equity and fixed income holdings.

In the pension fund’s 2015 annual report, its VO argued that the board had failed to monitor Lombard Odier sufficiently, and that it should pay more attention to the risks and returns on the investments.

The pension fund told IPE sister publication Pensioen Pro that it believed fiduciary management and asset management were “too concentrated” at the asset manager.

Jacques van de Vall, employer chairman at the scheme, said the board’s decision to select NN IP had been a unanimous one, following a selection process advised by consultancy Willis Towers Watson.

According to Valls, Bakkers had been “very impressed” with NN IP’s broad fiduciary client base, as well as the experience and expertise of its clients team.

Leo van Beekum, the scheme’s employee chairman, cited the importance of NN IP’s presence in the Netherlands, combined with the independent manager selection and monitoring it offered through its Altis subsidiary.

Bakkers said its contract with NN IP was for an indefinite period and subject to three months’ notice.

As of the end of November, funding of the bakers scheme stood at 92.6%.

The pension fund, however, has said it does not anticipate a pension-rights cut.

In other news, STIP, the €273m Dutch pension fund of Ikea, has renewed its contract for pensions provision with Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer for a two-year period.

Syntrus Achmea, which has served the Ikea scheme since 2011, not only provides pensions administration but also board support and communication services.

STIP has approximately 13,500 participants and pensioners, and, as of the end of November, its coverage stood at 103.4%.

Last November, Syntrus Achmea announced that it would stop serving industry-wide pension funds, as its IT system was unable to cope with the multitude of pension arrangements carried out by the sector schemes.

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