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Pension fund for Dutch architects transfers property into Achmea funds

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The €4bn pension fund for architects’ staff in the Netherlands has placed €95m of its discretionary property holdings in Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance funds to reduce the complexity of its portfolio and increase the liquidity of its assets. 

Roeland van Vledder, chairman of the scheme’s investment committee, said: “Moreover, this allows us to improve control and spread our risks.”

He made clear the main aim was not to increase results, “as the stake in the investment funds would generate comparable returns”.

He said the pension fund placed 14 residential housing objects and a retail asset – valued at €85m in total – in Achmea’s Dutch Residential Fund.

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The scheme transferred its stake in a retail centre with parking garage to Achmea’s Dutch Retail Property Fund.

According to Van Vledder, the Pensioenfonds voor de Architectenbureaus will receive preference shares in the investment funds. 

He added that it concluded a three-year contract with the asset manager.

The chairman of the investment committee said the pension fund wanted to reduce the “relatively large” proportion of direct real estate in its 8% property allocation.

Previously, it placed 40% of its property holdings in the two Syntrus Achmea funds, including several retail objects.

Van Vledder said the architects’ scheme planned to divest the three remaining office assets with a combined value of €20m in its discretionary property portfolio.

He added, however, that the Pensioenfonds voor Architectenbureaus was still keen to increase its holdings in residential property, as the prospects for direct and indirect returns in this segment were improving.

The scheme’s overall returns on real estate have been flat over the last two years.

Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance said its Residential Fund managed €670m in assets, its Retail Property Fund €600m.

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