EUROPE – A senior European pension executive says the European pensions industry is on the verge of a new era - though costs are to remain an issue between pension funds and their suppliers.

“Europe’s pensions industry stands on the brink of a new era,” State Street’s Rod Ringrow told a conference in London. He looked forward to the next five to 10 years. “It’ll be an exciting time,’” he said.

“The whole cost issue will remain at the forefront,” of funds’ relationships with supplier companies such as asset managers, he said. Outsourcing of functions would enable funds to position themseleves for regulatory developments, Ringrow, who is State’ Street’s head of business development, added.

He discussed the company’s 11-year relationship with 147 billion euro Dutch civil service pension fund ABP. He called it a “true partnership” that had developed over time, to the point where the two organisations are now co-investors in four businesses.

State Street Corp.’s State Street Global Advisors arm is the ninth largest manager of European pension fund assets, with 59.8 billion dollars under management.