Norbert Hoogers, the chief executive officer of the €130bn Dutch pension asset manager MN, is leaving the firm on 1 October after three years at the helm to lead HumanTotalCare, a vitality support firm that provides services to employers to keep their workers fit.

MN will soon initiate the process to look for a successor for Hoogers. In the meantime he will be replaced by chief financial officer Fleur Rieter on an interim basis. Hoogers started his job at MN in 2018, after having served as CEO of healthcare insurer Zilveren Kruis between 2013 and 2017.

Hoogers’ spell at MN has not exactly been a smooth ride. During his tenure, the firm has been plagued by problems with modernising its IT system and the departure of pension fund PME as a client for its pension administration last year.

“I still feel very bad about it [PME leaving MN for competitor TKP],” Hoogers said in an interview with trade publication Pensioen Pro. “Your preference is to improve the service-level in cooperation with [your clients]. When a firm like PME then makes another choice, that hurts,” he added.

On him leaving MN, “[t]here’s no question of a forced departure,” Hoogers insisted. “I could have worked at MN for longer, but this new job crossed my path. I was approached by HumanTotalCare to become their CEO. I listened to what they had to say and that appealed to me. I feel at home in the pensions sector but healthcare and vitality [of workers] have always remained of interest to me. In the end I had to make a difficult decision choosing between two fantastic jobs. My curiosity for another organisation was one of the points that made the difference,” he added.

Right time?

Hoogers noted now was the right time to make a switch as MN is just starting its preparations to implement the new Dutch pension agreement which involves a switch from a defined benefit-based system to defined contribution. He said: “It’s better to switch jobs right at the start of this transition than in the middle of it.”

Hanny Kemna, head of MN’s supervisory board, said that she had preferred to see Hoogers hang on a little longer. “We would have liked to see Norbert Hoogers being involved for longer in the modernisation of the pension administration and the preparations for the switch to the new pension system, but we respect his choice to make a switch in this phase of these changes,” she said in a press release on MN’s website.

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