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De Eendragt's Menco cites increasing reporting demands for departure

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Philip Menco has left as chief executive of De Eendragt Pensioen, the not-for-profit life insurer and provider of collective pensions. 

Menco – an investment strategist – said he would like to focus on his “passion” of investing again.

“Although the ever-increasing reporting demands from the supervisors are justified, they require a disproportionate amount of time and energy from a small organisation such as De Eendragt,” he said.

“This comes at the expense of client contacts and product innovation – and of the unique selling points of De Eendragt as a consequence.”

During Menco’s 10-year tenure, the number of De Eendragt’s clients increased from 15 to more than 50, including the pension plans of amusement park De Efteling and the Dutch branch of pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

During this period, De Eendragt’s assets under management grew from €630m to more than €1.6bn, while the total number of participants increased from 10,000 to 22,000.

In early 2006, Menco oversaw De Eendragt’s transformation from a pension fund with 15 separate pension plans – more or less a predecessor of the current pensions vehicle multi-opf – to life insurer.

The change was forced by supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), which concluded that De Eendragt’s initial construction – resulting from the collapse of paper mill Koninklijke Van Gelder Papier in 1981 – was not legal under the new Pensions Act.

In Menco’s opinion, De Eendragt combines the pensions guarantee of an insurer with the social aspects of a pension fund.

“Until 2011, we have always been able to grant the deferred members and pensioners a full indexation,” he said. “Since then, the liabilities became too high due to rising life expectancy.”

Menco said he was now weighing his options, adding that he would aim to “revitalise” his consultancy Fortunis.

At De Eendragt, he has been succeeded by Albert Bakker, a former interim manager and senior programme manager at insurer Achmea.

At the same time, André van Vliet has taken over the job of CFO at De Eendragt from Tom Nieuwenhuizen, who is to focus again on the company’s clients.

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