Architectenbureaus, the Dutch pension fund for architectural staff, has appointed F&C Netherlands as fiduciary manager for €3.2bn of its €3.5bn in assets. 

The scheme wanted to improve its asset management by separating fiduciary management from asset management and reporting and control, according to trustee Roeland van Vledder.

He added that general asset management – and the management of Architectenbureaus’ 10% property allocation – would remain with PGGM and Syntrus Achmea Real Estate, respectively.

“We wanted to separate the advisory role from the asset manager, by mandating F&C with strategic advice, hedging policy, the management of balance risk and monitoring the asset manager,” said Van Vledder, who is also chairman of the pension fund’s investment committee.

Van Vledder said F&C’s proposals for improving strategic advice convinced Architectenbureaus it was the right partner, adding that, of the 24 potential candidates, three had been invited to tender for the contract.

The contract will run for an indefinite period, but the scheme’s intention is to stay with F&C for 3-5 years.

Van Vledder said Avida International acted as adviser during the tendering process.

To further improve the board’s countervailing power, it has also appointed Triple A Risk Finance as additional adviser for asset-liability management.

Willem Jan Boot, the pension fund’s chairman, said: “Among our targets were a proper insight into risks and management of risks, as well as limiting our dependence on parties we have contracted out our asset management.”

Ben Kramer, CFO at F&C’s Netherlands, added: “The current economic climate has triggered a growing interest among institutional investors for an engaged partner that pro-actively advises the board and is critical if necessary. 

“Following the appointment of F&C as fiduciary manager, the pension fund’s board can now focus on essential issues, such as strategy and risk management.”

F&C – recently taken over by the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Global Asset Management – has €100bn in assets under management.

Its fiduciary proposition comprises advice, asset-liability management, asset allocation, derivatives management, the selection of institutional managers and advice on socially responsible investment. 

The pension fund has 7,065 active participants, 26,885 deferred members and 11,970 pensioners affiliated with more than 1,800 companies.

Architectenbureaus, which had to cut pension rights by 2.8% last year, reported a coverage ratio of 109.4% at July-end.

As a result of a decline in its sector, the number of active participants fell by 19% last year, and the board has indicated that it was expecting a further decrease in 2014.