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Dutch doctors' scheme picks Achmea as fiduciary manager

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SPH, the €10bn pension fund for general practitioners, said it would replace PGGM with Achmea Investment Management as its new fiduciary manager.

It is the latest of several major Dutch pension schemes to separate advisory and investment management functions.

The occupational scheme – which has more than 19,000 (former) GPs as members – has had PGGM as its fiduciary and asset manager since 2012.

In a statement, SPH said it expected that separating of the roles of co-ordination, advice and implementation would improve its governance.

“We want that all players can fulfill their role optimally and fully independently,” the scheme said, adding that the investment mandates for commodities, infrastructure and property would remain with PGGM.

It indicated that Achmea would take over fiduciary management as of April 2018.

Several other pension funds have decided to divide fiduciary management and asset management across different providers.

Last spring, the €3bn scheme for the furnishing sector (Meubel) appointed BlackRock as its fiduciary manager. Its fiduciary management was previously outsourced to US manager SEI Investments, which also managed most of Meubel’s assets.

The €3.8bn pension fund for the bakery sector (Bakkers) replaced Lombard Odier – which manages its European equity and government bonds allocations – with NN IP as fiduciary manager.

And the €1.4bn industry-wide scheme for private security (Particuliere Beveiliging) moved its fiduciary management from PGGM to BMO.

Earlier, supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) had made clear that it preferred that pension funds separate fiduciary management and asset management.

However, the largest pension funds in the Netherlands still employ their asset managers for fiduciary tasks as well.

The €187bn healthcare scheme PFZW and the €45bn metal scheme PME, who use the asset managers PGGM and MN respectively, told IPE that they don’t have plans to divide tasks across managers.

The €67bn metal scheme PMT said both roles had been thoroughly separated within the organisation of its asset manager MN.

The €389bn civil service pension fund ABP said that it had sufficient in-house countervailing power in relation to its manager APG to assure proper governance.

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