NETHERLANDS - The €5bn occupational pension fund for Dutch medical consultants (SPMS) has appointed BlackRock as fiduciary asset manager and APG as pensions provider.

SPMS said it decided to leave its former provider, DPFS, because it wanted to "decrease its vulnerability in an increasingly complex pensions and investment environment".

It stressed it was not dissatisfied with DPFS.

SPMS said its new set-up would not only offer benefits of scale on IT issues, for example, but also provide a large number of "in-depth experts" from both new providers.

With APG - provider of the €220bn civil service scheme ABP - SPMS will get its own team to service 14,000 participants.

BlackRock will be tasked with strategic and tactical advice, as well as selecting and monitoring asset managers.

Jeroen Steenvoorden, chief executive of the scheme, said: "Initially, we will stick with the existing asset managers, but BlackRock will no doubt apply its own accents."

He added that BlackRock would also assist in the management of interest risk and currency risk.

According to Steenvoorden, his scheme has started negotiations with the €7bn general practitioners scheme SPH - the co-owner of DPFS - about the sale of its 50% stake in the provider.

The appointment of SPMS's new providers, which will take effect on 1 January, follows a two-years selection process.

Meanwhile, SPH stated that it would remain with DPFS.

It said: "The benefits of a flexible smaller organisation, with its specific customer orientation, is more important to us than very large and powerful providers."