NETHERLANDS – A Tilburg University study has found that Dutch institutional investors tend to hold the majority of their equities in locally listed companies for the long term.

According to Eumedion – the governance and sustainability platform for institutional investors, which commissioned the survey – more than 80% of the portfolios were held for at least five years, while more than 55% of the investments were allocated for more than 10 years.

The researchers also found that equity holding periods had not decreased since the start of the financial crisis in the second half of 2007.

"The research results contradict the regularly voiced opinion that institutional investors are short-term investors," Eumedion said.

The study showed that less than 4% of the portfolios were kept for a year or less, and that turnover tended to be concentrated within a smaller part of portfolios.

The researchers attributed this turnover to a combination of active investment styles and benchmark readjustments.

The study covered the period from 2003 to the first half of 2012, and focused on the duration of Dutch equity ownership by the €274bn civil service scheme ABP, the €125bn healthcare pension fund PFZW and the €31bn metal scheme PME, as well as asset managers Robeco and Teslin Capital Management.

Eumedion said the results of the study jibed with the concept of "engaged equity ownership", which is at the core of the company's recommended best practices.

Eumedion has 70 Dutch and non-Dutch participants, with more than €1trn in assets under management.