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Dutch catering fund taps Western for bonds

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NETHERLANDS - The 1.6 billion-euros pension fund for the Dutch catering industry, Horeca & Catering, has awarded a 100 million-euro global fixed income mandate to Western Asset Management.

The size of the mandate is expected to increase up to 500 million euros in the immediate future, said Petra Blonk, senior manager at the fund. She said the allocation was new money from contributions.

The Zoetermeer-based fund, aided by consulting firm Watson Wyatt, chose from an initial group of 10 international candidates, which was cut to three in the final selection round.

Western has 148 billion dollars (122.2 billion euros) in assets worldwide and was chosen for its “dedicated investment approach and solid track record”.

‘By selecting a specialised asset manager such as Western Asset Management, the board aims at diversifying its investment portfolio, in particular in inflation liken bonds, and to improve future investment returns,” the fund said in a statement.

“This agreement is part of a continuous drive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the pension fund’s asset management,” Horeca also said.

Western joins F&C Netherlands, which has a balanced mandate. Before Western’s appointment it managed the bond portfolio.

Other managers are Robeco Institutional Asset Management (equities), Achmea Vastgoed (real estate and mortgages) and AlpInvest Partners (private equity). Kas Bank, Blonk said, was the fund’s custodian.

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