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PFZW struggling to negotiate bonus-malus fee arrangements

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PFZW, the €156bn pension fund for the Dutch healthcare industry, has said it has not yet succeeded in negotiating bonus-malus fee arrangements with external asset managers.

According to local news daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), a PFZW spokeswoman said: “The asset managers have not just agreed like that – it has turned out to be a difficult subject.”

Last April, Peter Borgdorff, PFZW’s director, announced that his pension fund would seek to penalise external asset managers for poor results.

Yet, according to PFZW’s spokeswoman, changing the industry’s current culture has proved “very difficult”.

“In particular, with long-term private investments, the practice is still very much focused on performance-related fees,” she told FD.

She also cited the challenge of co-operating with other pension funds on the issue, “as it could be considered market manipulation”.

A spokesman for APG – asset manager for the €334bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP – said the scheme had not taken a bonus-malus approach in its recent negotiations with external managers.

He said APG preferred that external managers also take stakes in any given investment.

“That way, they will also feel the pain of a low return,” he said. “In our opinion, this is more effective than punishing them.”

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