Danish roundup: ATP, Unipension, PKA
EUROPE - ATP is creating a fifth directorship on its management board, appointing Jens Brøchner to oversee new activities the DKK500bn (€67bn) pension fund has taken on in Denmark and the UK.
In a statement, the scheme said: "The ATP group has taken on several new tasks in Denmark and England in the last few years, and so top management is strengthened with the addition Jens Brøchner, who comes from the job of director of the Pensions Agency under the Ministry for Employment."
Brøchner will take up his new role at the beginning of November.
He will take responsibility for the new area of Business Development, which will put more focus on pension and customer relations in Denmark and abroad.
Brøchner will also be responsible for contact with the newly established subsidiary in the UK, NOW:Pensions, as well as a range of lateral tasks within the ATP group such as business strategy, compliance, risk management and corporate social responsibility.
He has previously worked at the Economics Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
In other news, Unipension said it hoped more pension funds would use its services as pensions administrator in the future - a development that would reduce costs further.
Unipension's chief actuary Steen Ragn told IPE the pension service provider definitely hoped more pension funds would come to Unipension for services.
"We see ourselves as an attractive business partner, since we have done really well with regards to investment returns, and we know from benchmarks that we have probably the best member service in the business," he said.
Unipension manages the Architects' Pension Fund (AP), the Pension Fund for Danish MAs, MScs and PhDs (MP) and the Pension Fund for Agricultural Academics and Veterinary Surgeons (PJD).
Assets total DKK80bn.
In general, Ragn predicted more pension funds in Denmark would opt to outsource functions such as administration or investment to cut costs.
"In the future, we will see both more overarching pension administrators being formed, as well as outright mergers in the business," he said.
As a pension administrator running a group of pension funds, Unipension benefitted from the sharing of costs, but costs would naturally be reduced even more if more pension funds joined it, Ragn said.
Lastly, pensions administrator PKA said the merger of four of the pension funds under its umbrella has now received final approved from the authorities.
The new Pension Fund for Health Professionals has therefore become a reality, it said.
The new fund is a union of the Medical Laboratory Technologists' Pension Fund, the Occupational Therapists' and Physiotherapists' Pension Fund, the Midwives' Pension Fund and the Danish Diet and Nutrition Officers' Pension Fund.
The merger follows two years of work involving the four funds and will take effect retroactively from the beginning of 2011.
The new Pension Fund for Health Professionals has 48,000 members and assets of DKK35bn.
Supervisory board chairman of the new fund, Carl Holst, said the boards and members of the four funds had made a good and far-sighted decision.
"And it has been a good starting point because all the funds are economically strong, their pension conditions and articles are generally the same, and they know each other well trough the cooperation with PKA," he said.
Peter Damgaard Jensen, managing director at PKA, said: "The whole point of the merger has been to create a robust and strong pension fund that can meet the many challenges that lie in the future."