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German insurers build new vehicles to stay in lead

The German public savings bank network, Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (DSGV) and its fund management arm, DGZ DekaBank, have formally three new retirement provision companies with the German public insurers’ association.
The move was widely expected and confirms the public banking and insurance industries’ desire to remain at the forefront of occupational pension provision.
Says Dietrich Hoppenstedt, president of the DSGV: “With this step we have created a central platform from which we can offer a full range of services… the Sparkasse network finds itself in a favourable position, given its federal-wide integrated product range and presence.”
The new operations comprise a holding company, Beteiligungsgesellschaft für betriebliche Altersversorgung der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (BbASF), in which DGZ DekaBank and the public insurers association will each hold 50%. Two additional subsidiaries – Sparkassen Pensionsfonds and Sparkassen Pensionskasse – are wholly owned by BbSAF.
Sparkassen Pensionskasse will offer a combination of insurance products and savings funds. “The combined marketing and operating skills of the DGZ DekaBank and the public insurers’ association will ensure these new companies a successful place in the new pensions market,” suggests Heiko Winkler, president of the public insurers’ association.
BbSAF will be led by Ulf Peters, member of the board of directors of the public insurers’ association and Armin Holzmüller, member of the board of the Bavarian insurance chamber. Hans-Jürgen Gutenberger, member of the board of DGZ DekaBank, will become chairman of BbSAF’s supervisory board.
“The growth potential for the new occupational pensions market in Germany is enormous,” comments Gutenberger.

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