NETHERLANDS - Dutch merchant bank Kempen & Co has hired ING Investment Management's Marco van Rijn in a move to expand its fiduciary business.

Van Rijn, currently head of the global core team at ING IM, will join Kempen from June 1 as senior fiduciary manager, said Hans Rademaker, who heads the fiduciary team of six.

The bank, which recruited Rademaker from MN Services in late 2005 to head its new fiduciary management business, has so far attracted six Dutch institutional investors, with a total of nearly €1bn in invested assets.

"There are at the moment a lot of requests for proposal (RFP) from prospective clients, and via consultants there are some selection processes going on," said Rademaker. The bank is currently in concrete talks with several potential new clients.

Rademaker thinks the Dutch fiduciary market is set to grow. Several pension funds have approached the Amsterdam-based bank in the past few months to get information about fiduciary management.

He also thinks that Kempen is good competition for US-based Goldman Sachs, which has won a lot of assets in the sector recently.

"We think that there is most definitely a need in the market for a through and through Dutch party which knows the world of Dutch institutional investors very well and knows what is going on, an coordinate its services accordingly."

Ruud Hendriks, managing director and head of continental Europe at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, commented to IPE that whether the fiduciary manager is foreign or local is not important, arguing that pension funds should look at the best manager.

"Speaking the language and knowing the regulations of the country and know how business is conducted are more relevant criteria," he said.

Also GSAM is looking to expand its fiduciary business in the Netherlands in the coming months, but Hendriks declined to provide more details on future deals.

Elsewhere, financial services giant, ING has announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of Limburg-based pensions provider AZL for €65m.

AZL will continue to operate under its current name as an independent subsidiary of ING, the firm announced.