NETHERLANDS - Mn Services is the latest of Dutch pension providers to intensify its presence in Brussels, as several pension funds and providers have already appointed lobbyists in the administrative centre of the EU, IPE has learnt.

A spokesman for Mn Services, which earlier this week announced it will continue merger talks with Syntrus Achmea, confirmed to IPE the company is an "orientational phase" in terms of potential lobbying efforts in Brussels.

"The latest is that we are orientating ourselves towards Brussels, but this does not mean that we are active there yet," said the spokesman, who added the company started these efforts earlier this year.

He added: "We keep a close eye on the international dossier that plays out in Brussels, which is also one of the reasons for our new orientation."

Mn Services stressed its primary focus in terms of lobbying is in The Hague, which is why the company has not had a presence in Brussels so far.

Leny van der Heiden, director of the Dutch organisation for industry wide pension funds, also told IPE a number of pension organisations, such as APG, PGGM and Cordares are active in Brussels.

"I'm not sure if we should call all of this lobbying, but these organisations not only try to follow what is happening in Brussels but also to influence - with Solvency II being an important subject - when they think or fear that the developments are going the wrong way," she said.

A spokesman for APG said the organisation has had a lobbyist representing the ABP pension fund in Brussels since 2000.

"We chose to do this as 60% of Dutch regulation these days is based on guidelines, measures and regulation determined in Brussels," he said.

"To look after the interests of the Dutch pension system - which is based on
collectivity and solidarity as much as possible - it is good to try and influence Brussels regulation at the earliest stage possible," he added.

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