GERMANY - Babcock Pensionskasse, the €460m pension fund of failed engineering firm Babcock, has stripped chief executive Günter Schulze of his responsibilities, sources say.

He has been given him an indefinite leave of absence, people familiar with the situation told IPE. They added that while it was not clear whether the move was tantamount to a dismissal, Schulze was not currently leading BPK. The reason for the move was not immediately known.

The sources added that BPK’s supervisory board would meet next week to make a final decision on Schulze’s status.

BPK itself declined to elaborate on the events, saying only that Schulze “had been put on leave”.

BPK was the pension fund for engineering group Babcock, which went bankrupt in late 2002 – after which the fund sought to reinvent itself by opening itself to all industries.

German regulator BaFin approved BPK’s transformation into an industry-wide fund in April 2003, and the fund aimed to target German small and midsize enterprises in particular.

The pension fund’s first client was German submarine manufacturer HDW, which boosted the number of its insured employees by 9,000 to 12,000 in total. HDW had, however, at one time belonged to the failed Babcock group. BPK also has 6,600 pensioners.

BPK’s pension advisor is the leading German house Heubeck AG. The fund’s asset managers include Frankfurt Trust, WestAM and Metzler Asset Management.

According to the asset allocation, 19% of its assets are invested in domestic and international equities, while 70% is invested in domestic bonds. Another 11% of BPK’s portfolio is invested in real estate.