The pension fund for Dutch health insurance firms, SBZ Pensioen, has appointed Achmea Investment Management as its new fiduciary manager. Achmea’s experience with defined contribution (DC) pension schemes was an important reason for the firm winning the mandate.

The reason for the switch to Achmea IM after a 15-year relationship with BNP Paribas is the upcoming DC transition, said Reiniera van der Feltz, executive trustee at the €6bn SBZ scheme.

Achmea already administers SBZ’s current DC arrangement as well as its arrangement for additional pensions without tax benefits, which have combined assets of just €64m.

Achmea IM will not take over completely at SBZ as Russell Investments will continue to be responsible for manager selection and monitoring as well as for the fund’s ESG policy.

Because the details of the new pension system are not yet clear, SBZ did not publish a detailed request for proposal.

“Instead we invited all asset managers on our list to give us a presentation on how they deal with DC. This provided us with a wealth of insights. On the basis of the presentations we made a first selection,” said Van der Feltz.

According to its annual report for 2021, SBZ’s fee for fiduciary services amounted to some 0.17% of total assets, or some €10m.

This is a relatively high amount compared to the fund’s peers, but costs were not a decisive criterion in the selection process, according to Van der Feltz. “However, costs will probably fall as of next year,” she added.

Read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine