NETHERLANDS - Merrill Lynch Investment Managers says it has now completed its previously announced deal to buy the in-house pension management arms of electronics giant Philips.

The move was announced in April as part of a "strategic partnership" with the Philips Pension Fund which includes a seven-year contract to run €12bn for the fund.

The Philips Pensions Competence Center and Philips Investment Management are now operating under the MLIM name and will continue to be based in Eindhoven.

"This acquisition will make Merrill Lynch Investment Managers the largest non-domestic active manager in the country and will also give potential Dutch clients a true alternative to local managers," said Maarten Slendebroek, MLIM's head of European sales.

"This transaction gives us a number of strategic benefits including accelerated growth in the Netherlands, a leadership position to conduct similar deals across Europe and further enhances our credibility in the growing area of liability-driven investing," said Andrew Dyson, MLIM's head of institutional business.

In July, Bob Doll, MLIM's president and chief investment officer, said the Philips deal would have a "halo effect" for MLIM.

He told IPE that the firm was in talks that could lead to further asset management mandates in the Netherlands, though he declined to be specific. And he said the firm would "find out over time" whether the deal was a success.