Insurance company ASR has plans to offer fiduciary asset management services to other institutional investors in the Netherlands, including its new general APF pension fund.
According to its 2015 annual report, ASR is aiming to build on expertise gained from property management and the recently acquired asset manager BNG, a Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten subsidiary focusing on local councils.
To date, ASR’s asset management has focused almost exclusively on its insurance activities.
ASR has €38bn in assets under management, with €6bn in investment funds for clients, €3bn in mandates for reinsured pension contracts and €4bn in property funds.
About €25bn is currently under fiduciary management.
Last year, ASR took over pensions insurer De Eendragt to strengthen its position in the pensions market.
It said it also started contracting out its pensions administration to reduce costs, and that it had reinsured €200m of its pensions portfolio with Legal & General to reduce its balance risk.
Last year, ASR attracted €160m of buyouts from pension funds with defined benefit plans, down from €377m over the year the previous year.
It added that it received €60m of premiums for defined contribution arrangements and products.
ASR operates a low-cost DC vehicle PPI together with online bank Brand New Day, which had 1,569 clients with 21,125 participants in total at year-end.
The Utrecht-based insurer reduced its holding in its Dutch Core Residential Fund to 80% after six external investors took a stake, and its holding in the Dutch Prime Retail Fund to 40% after two externals investors followed suit.
The new collective defined contribution schemes of ING and NN, as well as insurer De Goudse, have invested in its Core Residential Fund.
ASR – the sixth-largest insurer in the Netherlands, claiming a market share of more than 7% – sold part of its loss-making property development activities to Meijer Realty Partners.
Last year, its solvency rose from 285% to 305%, and it reported returns on equity of 13.9%.
ASR is the continuation of Fortis Insurance Netherlands and has been owned by the Dutch government since it nationalised Fortis Group in 2008.
The insurer is preparing for an IPO later this year.