NETHERLANDS - The €2bn pension fund for the bakery sector has appointed Swiss asset manager Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch (LODH) as its new fiduciary manager.

As of 1 April, the fiduciary management of 75% of its assets will be transferred to LODH, while the remaining assets will stay with its present manager Robeco as a direct investment mandate, Stichting Pensioenfonds voor het Bakkersbedrijf said in a statement.

Until now the assets of the bakers' pension fund have been managed by Groningen-based Beon, which was initially the scheme's own asset manager and pensions provider, until it was taken over by Robeco in Rotterdam several years ago.

"The pension fund does not agree with Robeco's plan to further integrate Beon into the investment process of Robeco, in order to increase the overall efficiency," Leo van Beekum, employee chairman of the scheme, told IPE.

"We want to stick with Beon's present investment policy," according to Van Beekum, who added that one of LODH's specific tasks will be to find managers for investments in Asia.

According to the chairman, Beon's four-strong investment team will also join Lombard Odier.

Van Beekum stressed that the new fiduciary manager will work closely with the pension fund's investment committee. "Lombard will provide us with details on figures and developments, which could affect for example our cover ratio, on a daily basis," he added.

According to the pension fund, its cover ratio had recovered from 95% at the end of 2008 to 106.1% at the end of last February.

However, after it had already factored in a 3% provision for increased longevity, the scheme said it has meanwhile decided to make an additional reservation of another 3% for the same purpose.

Because of the scheme's risk-return ratio, based on its investment mix, its required financial reserves equate to a cover ratio of 114.4%.

The bakers' scheme has approximately 235,240 participants, of whom 40,570 are active participants and 177,075 are deferred members.