NETHERLANDS - In a push for third-party business, the €9.8bn pension fund for the printing and publishing industry Pensioenfonds Grafische Bedrijven (PGB) wants to persuade Dutch media industry schemes to use its services.

Under the new plans, PGB would relaunch itself as the pension provider for the graphic, publishing, media and communications industries, doubling its client base double from the current 50,000 active participants.

The newly combined offering would culminate  in one scheme for the three sectors, worth up to €25bn.

Several publishers, such as Boom Uitgevers and Wolters Noordhoff, decided to place their schemes with PGB last year, a spokesman told IPE this morning.

He added that PGB now mainly aims to target the sector's distribution pillar, which includes funds such as the €2.7bn pension fund PNO Media.

"PGB wants to create one pension counter together with the social partners, the corporate and the industrywide pension funds in the media pillar," he said.

PGB, which still needs to approach a number of funds, said it expects to formulate an expansion strategy by this year.

The move is intended to size up the organisation in order to improve the price/quality proportion for participants, said the fund.

Earlier this year, Canadian pension fund expert Keith Ambachtsheer already saluted the trend whereby small pension funds are pushed into the arms of larger administrative entities. (See earlier story ‘DNB makes small funds' survival hard - Ambachtsheer')

In recent months, several Dutch pension providers have announced mergers or the wish to create synergies.

APG Groep, the newly separated asset manager of the giant Dutch ABP pension fund, and Cordares, the pension provider for the building industry, said earlier this month they expect their merger to be completed on September 1.

Mn Services, which is owned by the two Dutch metal industry pension funds - BPMT and PME - is also currently in merger talks with Syntrus, the Dutch fiduciary manager owned by Achmea, though both parties have reached an impasse over ownership.

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