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MN sets sights on manufacturing sector to increase scale

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MN, the €114bn asset manager, is looking to increase its scale by winning over pension funds from the Dutch manufacturing sector as clients.

According to its 2015 annual report, it aiming to offer in particular its expertise in fiduciary and asset management.

In addition to the €40bn PME and €60bn PMT pension funds, MN also services the €4bn pension fund for the merchant navy (Koopvaardij), as well as seven smaller schemes, including those for Unisys, Cargill, Forbo and Wheels & Tyres.

MN, based in The Hague, said it expected to close its Amsterdam office, where it employs approximately 120 staff, this year as part of its drive to reduce costs.

Last year, it sold its UK operations to Kempen Capital Management, citing its desire “to refocus on the Dutch market and Dutch clients”.

The asset manager reported an operational loss of almost €14m, pointing to the switchover to a new IT system for the administration of income insurance for employers and employees as the main cause.

It said it expected to be back in profit this year.

In 2014, MN embarked on a four-year process to automate administrative systems and processes almost fully, to achieve a quicker turnover and reduce error margins, while also cutting costs.

Last year, it also launched a programme for culture change by improving all processes and departments, focusing on client and their participants.

This lead to a reduction of staff in 2016, according the provider, which earlier announced that approximately 220 jobs in its 1,200 strong staff were to disappear.

In 2015, MN reduced the executive board from eight to four seats in its drive to improve efficiency.

It said it had also developed a climate strategy aimed at the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.

MN said the largest challenge for pension funds in the manufacturing industry would be to regain their participants’ trust.

René van de Kieft, who succeeded Ruud Hagendijk as chief executive last year, said: “We must jointly explain the strength and the value of our pensions system, as well as our contribution to proper pensions management.”

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