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Netherlands roundup: Researchers’ scheme divests from tobacco [updated]

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The €3.4bn pension fund of technical research institute TNO has announced that it will divest its tobacco holdings.

It said that tobacco didn’t fit in its policy for responsible investment.

TNO said it would sell its stake in 12 companies that generate more than 5% of their turnover from tobacco, as a consequence of the decision.

Several large pension funds – including healthcare scheme PFZW, civil service pension fund ABP, metal scheme PME and the multi-sector pension fund PGB – have also cut their tobacco industry investments.

The occupational pension funds for general practitioners (SPH) and medical consultants (SPMS), as well as the industry-wide pension fund for care insurers (SBZ), have also banned investments in cigarettes and cigars.

TNO said that its decision was in line with the view of both its participants and the pension fund itself, as healthy living was among its primary investment themes.

DNB to survey management operational and IT risks

Financial regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) is to survey the management of operational and IT risks at six medium-sized pension funds and their providers.

In a recent newsletter, the regulator said that the outcome would enable it to improve its supervision, and would also help boost pension funds’ ability to deal with these tasks.

DNB added that, depending on a scheme’s specifics, its researchers would look at matters such as the implementation of risk management as part of the governance of the scheme.

At pension funds carrying out significant data migrations or conversions, the supervisor said it would assess the process as well as data quality.

In addition, the DNB’s survey would also look into how pension funds’ boards managed the process of outsourcing to external providers.

KAS Bank to co-operate with fintech firm SimCorp

Custodian KAS Bank has appointed SimCorp to run its back office activities using the fintech provider’s ‘Dimension’ software.

“The co-operation with SimCorp is an important step in the transformation of our organisation into a European administration bank,” said Sikke van Katwijk, executive chairman of KAS Bank.

He made clear that his firm wanted to anticipate the trend of outsourcing administrative matters.

Copenhagen-listed SimCorp – which also has an Amsterdam office – services 180 large insurers, pension providers, asset managers and sovereign wealth funds.

Its Dutch clients include PGGM and MN, the pension providers for the large healthcare scheme PFZW and the metal pension funds PMT and PME, respectively. PGGM has been a client of SimCorp since 2006.

Note: The final story was updated on 9 April to clarify the nature of KAS Bank’s and SimCorp’s arrangement.

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