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Netherlands roundup: Low-cost DC vehicles growing steadily

Low-cost DC vehicles in the Netherlands – known as PPI – saw total assets increase by 28% to €6.2bn during the first three quarters of 2017, according to supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

It said that the number of active participants increased 20% to 335,000 in the same period.

DNB’s statistics showed that, in the third quarter, PPI assets rose by 11% from €5.2bn, with almost half (48%) of the increase due to contributions from active participants, and 42% from PPI funds taking on existing plans.

For example, the Dutch pension fund of IT firm Unisys announced that it would place €5m of individual DC assets with a PPI.

The remainder of the increase was the result of investment returns.

More than 500,000 people are saving for their pension through a PPI, 335,000 of whom are active and 199,000 are deferred participants.

Last week, DNB also published statistics showing that pensions accrual in the second pillar is decreasing, with both sector schemes and company pension funds losing market share.

Earlier this year, a survey by IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro revealed that the PPI market was consolidating, and that the offerings from insurers Aegon and Nationale Nederlanden – including the PPI of NN’s recent acquisition Delta Lloyd – between them covered three-quarters of the market. 

APG buys into €1bn infrastructure portfolio

Private assets specialist Ardian has agreed to sell a portfolio of eight infrastructure assets valued at more than €1bn to Dutch manager APG and insurance giant AXA.

The portfolio of assets forms part of an infrastructure fund run by Ardian and closed to new investors in 2007. Both APG and AXA are investors in this fund.

Ardian will remain as manager of the portfolio, it said in a statement.

The assets include an Italian gas distribution company, a Spanish toll road and French railway communication network Synerail.

Jan-Willem Ruisbroek, senior portfolio infrastructure manager at APG, said the transaction was part of the company’s strategy “to acquire large portfolios of high-quality core infrastructure assets, while at the same time significantly enhancing the controls over those assets”.

“Club deals with like-minded investors like AXA, supplemented with leading asset managers like Ardian, is one of our preferred routes of deploying capital,” Ruisbroek added. “Furthermore, this transaction contributes to our Sustainable Development Investment targets, with significant exposure to renewable energy and high speed rail.”

Ahold scheme replaces custodian

BNP Paribas Securities Services has won a mandate for custody and administration services from the €4.5bn Ahold Pensioenfonds.

The Dutch pension fund of the Belgian retailer is BNP Paribas’ first new client since it took over the administration and reporting services of asset manager Actiam last summer.

Currently, BNP Paribas Securities Services has four pension fund clients in the Netherlands with combined assets of €18bn.

Pensioenfonds Ahold left KAS Bank for BNP Paribas.

Related images

  • A lighthouse in Noordwijk, the Netherlands

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