NETHERLANDS - The pension fund manager of the KLM retirement schemes with total assets worth e7bn, has changed its name in light of a proposed ownership change and is poised to market its services as a third-party provider to other Dutch pension schemes.

The firm, now named Blue Sky Group, will shortly change its shareholder structure when the present owner KLM NV transfers ownership to the three KLM pension funds.
Blue Sky will also start pitching for business to other pension funds within the KLM group.

Arun Ratra, chief investment officer at Blue Sky, says the name change is part of the strategy to sell the firm’s services to other pension funds within the KLM group and outside: “This marks a change in our organisation.
“It is the same operation, but the shareholder structure will change so that the firm is fully owned by the fund and no longer by the KLM group.
“The name change signifies the change in style.”

On the issue of third-party sales, Ratra adds: “This is a possibility – the pension fund world is professionalising and trustees are having to outsource a lot of complex decisions and they need someone to manage that. That’s what we do.
“We are a pension fund manager. The board of trustees make the broad decisions and we are more responsible for the stewardship and day to day management.”

Within the KLM group, Ratra says they will be looking to pitch for the pension fund business of KLM daughter firms like Transavia and Martinair.
“Many of these contracts are currently managed by insurance companies. What we would like to do is pitch for this business when the contracts expire and offer our services to the KLM group.”

He adds that while this business would not represent a huge pot of money, it would give the firm a broad base, as well as experience of pitching for business in a competitive environment.
“It doesn’t mean we are a commercial organisation, but we do have commercial orientation.”