NETHERLANDS - ING Investment Management, which has been offering fiduciary management to medium-sized Dutch pension funds since its acquisition of pension fund manager AZL last year, plans to launch a fiduciary proposition abroad.

Garry Pieters, director of business development at ING Investment Management (ING IM), told IPE in an interview the firm has been playing catch-up since AZL's integration, though it aims at presenting solid plans for a fiduciary expansion abroad by September this year.

ING IM will begin its venture abroad by targeting Europe, focusing mainly on Belgium, Poland, Germany, Italy and France, and has had some interest from Asian pension funds though has yet to formulate a strategy.

Pieters admitted ING would be following into the footsteps of companies such as Mn Services or Cordares, which have already made a push for foreign business, though he rules out joint ventures or cooperation with local parties to get a head start.

"In almost each country we have an insurer, a distribution channel and an asset manager," said Pieters, who thinks ING's modular character gives the firm an advantage when rolling out a fiduciary offering abroad, compared to other firms who need to search local partners.

ING IM aims to become part of the top three fiduciary managers In the Netherlands within the next five years, growing the business from its current €17.3bn in fiduciary assets under management.

The company announced last week it is to deliver fiduciary management to the €140m Will Niemeijer corporate pension fund, which it won on the back of an existing insurance contract with insurance subsidiary Nationale Nederlanden.

"I think we are one of the view parties in the Netherlands who can make such a complete offering to pension funds, integrating management support, strategic advice, external management and investment and risk reports, including insurance," claimed Pieters.

On the back of this "integrated offering", the firm has a number of other mandates from larger Dutch pension funds in the pipeline.

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