GERMANY - Chemie Pensionsfonds AG, the pension fund for the German chemical industry, has appointed Martin Großmann as its new chief executive, effective immediately.

Großmann replaces Hans Melchiors, who left on August 1 to join Hamburg-based insurer Volksfürsorge as a board member in charge of occupational pensions.

Großmann, 45, joined Chemie Pensionsfonds as a director in 2002, the first year of the pension fund’s existence. In his new role as chief executive, he will have responsibility for mathematics, administration of contracts, marketing, processes and controlling.

“Mr Großmann’s appointment as chief executive represents above all continuity at Chemie Pensionsfonds. Like his predecessor, he is an expert is in field,” said Hartmut Pfeifer, a spokesman for the fund.

Launched in April 2002, Chemie Pensionsfonds has a potential client base of 800,000 employees in the chemical industry, making it Germany’s second-largest pension fund by this measure. According to the fund, it had acquired 400 chemical industry clients employing 200,000 employees.

However, like at other German pension funds, demand for Chemie Pensionsfonds’ pension has been far below expectations. As of March 2003, 10,000 employees in the chemical industry had signed up for the pension.

Melchiors had aimed to double the number of Chemie Pensionsfonds pensions sold to 20,000 by the end of 2003, but the pension fund has unveiled no further demand figures since March 2003.

Separately, German bank HVB said Großmann had also been appointed chief executive of HVB’s own pension fund, HVB Pensionsfonds.

HVB is the administrator for both Chemie Pensionsfonds and HVB Pensionsfonds, which according to the bank, took in 16.5 billion euros in assets as of 30 September 2004.