Metzler Asset Management has confirmed that German regulator BaFin has given it the go-ahead to launch a multi-employer Pensionsfonds.
The fund is the first in Germany to be launched by an asset management company, a subsidiary of Metzler private bank.
The other 30 Pensionsfonds currently operating in the country have been set up as company-specific schemes, as multi-employer plans by insurers or, in once case, by a consultancy (Towers Watson).
Metzler’s fund, which will be open to all industries and businesses, started business on 1 August.
Christian Remke, head of Metzler Pension Management and chairman of the Metzler Pensionsfonds, told IPE: “Analysing companies’ demands, we saw most of the existing third-party Pensionsfonds were not meeting their criteria, or they were too inflexible.”
He cited a number of differences in various company pension schemes, with different rates that have to be adjusted to a single rate in the Pensionsfonds.
Remke said Metzler had opened the possibility to “take on all schemes” with the help of “special rates”.
Metzler AM declined to name any clients it might already have won for its Pensionsfonds, nor would it reveal its investment strategy.
The Pensionsfonds was set up as “non-insurance” vehicle – i.e. without issuing guarantees – to “give the Pensionsfonds and the plan sponsors full flexibility in financing and investing”.
Metzler AM started to build its pension business 12 years ago, when it was also the first provider to launch a multi-employer CTA.
For its Pensionsfonds, the asset manager is working with Global RWE Services as administrator.
Global RWE Services also handles administration for Germany’s largest Pensionsfonds, the €7bn pension plan of energy company RWE.