NETHERLANDS – The Dutch building industry pension fund managers ASW and Cordares have agreed to merge to create an entity with €21bn in assets.

They said the move would improve economies of scale, cost efficiency, services and capital management. And they said the decision was a signal to the market that a consolidation of the 700-strong Dutch pension sector is needed.

They said in a statement that they hope the deal will be implemented by the end of the year. The merged entity will be known as Cordares.

ASW is the pension manager of Pensioenfonds voor de Woningcorporaties, with €3.5bn in assets. The €17.5bn Cordares recently changed its name from SFB Groep, or social fund for the building sector.

The merged entity would have administration revenue of €220m and 1,100 employees – and manage 27 different pension arrangements.

Cordares has around 25,000 employers as clients and 1m employees, active pensioners and deferreds. They said they might look at acquiring more medium and large schemes.

“We have taken time to assess the merger and have come to the conclusion that the merger will have a very positive result for both parties,” said ASW general director Jan Kloet.

Cordares chairman Joep Schouten added: “If we want to be able to give our clients the best price/quality situation, we have to increase our economies of scale.

“The board and management of ASW have been the main drivers behind the proposed merger. This solution is also totally in line with pension governance.