An increasing number of Dutch pension funds is reverting to in-house asset management, in particular for equity and bonds, the annual survey of Dutch pension funds published by Pensioen Pro has suggested.
It found the amount of externally managed assets dropped by €169bn to €916bn this year, as part of a trend that started in 2018.
The percentage of schemes that at least in part internally managed assets jumped from 16.7% in 2017 to 34% this year, it showed.
The survey also disclosed that 85% of pension funds with in-house management have investment expertise on their board or administrative teams, or are being advised by their own investment committee, whereas 64% used an investment consultancy.
It also showed that particular government bonds, credit and equity were managed internally.
Approximately 30% of the 47 participating schemes carried out at least part of their fiduciary management in house, up from 17% in 2017. Half of them deployed external fiduciary managers, but only for some mandates.
The research showed that a large number of different fiduciary managers were hired, with NN Investment Partners being the most used this year. MN came second, while Achmea Investment Management and TKPI shared third place.
More than three-quarters of participants indicated that the main reason for hiring a fiduciary manager was getting access to broader expertise and specialist services, as well as workload relief.
The most important criteria for manager selection were listed as the quality of risk management and the like-minded corporate culture that pension funds and managers share.
According to the research, 70% of respondents considered it highly unlikely that a pension fund’s board would give up too much control by fully outsourcing its assets to a fiduciary manager.
The survey included 49 respondents, representing 47 pension funds with assets ranging from €350m to €250bn and totalling €635bn.