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Vervoer replaces Robeco with Achmea for fiduciary management

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Vervoer, the €28bn Dutch sector scheme for private road transport, has chosen Achmea Investment Management as its “integrated asset manager” as of year-end.

The industry-wide pension fund, which is dropping pure play asset manager Robeco, said Achmea could provide “a full service solution and already had several customers of a similar scale”.

The services to be outsourced to Achmea are the selection and monitoring of asset managers, the management of interest and currency overlay as well as the management of collateral for derivatives transactions.

Vervoer made clear last year that it would start exploring the options for what it calls “integrated asset management”. The planned retendering of the fiduciary management contract was revealed in April 2018. 

Commenting on the outcome of the search, Willem Brugman, the pension fund’s director, insisted that Vervoer did not have a single complaint about the service provision by Robeco, which has been its manager since 2012.

Since then, Robeco has been taken over by Japanese financial services group Orix, saw several board members leave and divested its manager selection subsidiary Corestone in a management buy-out.

In an interview with IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro, Brugman said his scheme switched to Achmea for fiduciary management.

“Achmea focuses on this activity, whereas Robeco is an asset manager also offering fiduciary services,” he explained.

Brugman highlighted that the decision to leave Robeco had been difficult, as both service provision and results were fine, and added that the Rotterdam-based manager had been in the race until the last moment.

He said the selection criteria were cultural match, quality, continuity of service provision and the scope of the proposition.

“We concluded that continuity would be better guaranteed at Achmea, as it is a fiduciary manager also offering asset management.”

Brugman added that the pension fund believed Achmea would keep investing in all aspects of integrated asset management as – contrary to Robeco – it already had several pension fund clients of a similar scale as Vervoer.

Brugman further made clear that Achmea would also be able to carry out Vervoer’s investment administration, and could make it fit for reporting to, for example, supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank, a service Robeco did not offer.

“This would unburden our own administrative bureau,” he said.

The director further said that the pension fund had decided to not divide its fiduciary mandate across several managers.

“The management of interest and currency hedge, for example, is that important that we want our fiduciary manager to be as close to it as possible.”

Brugman declined to provide details about financial aspects of the transition.

He said that the transition risks included the move of the interest and currency overlay.

“The other investments, most of which are placed with other managers than Robeco, won’t change for the time being,” he said.

The mandatory sector scheme covers the pensions of workers in the road haulage, private bus and taxi transport, inland waterway and crane hire sectors.

It has 670,000 participants and pensioners.

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