NETHERLANDS – Dutch pension fund manager AZL has appointed Walther Schapendonk as director of investment services with a special focus on strategy and risk management among pension funds.

The decision was finalized very recently, and Schapendonk will start on February 1 2006.

This is a new position at AZL, and was created due to increasing developments in the pension fund arena, according to an AZL spokesperson.

Schapendonk, 37, is currently working at the Grafische BedrijfsFondsen (GBF) – one of the largest Dutch sector pension funds functioning in the printing press industry.

It has approximately €9bn in assets under management, according to a GBF spokesperson.

Before working at GBF, Schapendonk was chief investment officer at the Unilever Progress pension fund.

Schapendonk could not be reached for comment.

AZL is the common management company for roughly 65 pension fund clients, including the funds for Dutch mine workers, the textile industry and librarians.