ABP investment head Dominique Dijkhuis will be leaving Dutch civil service scheme ABP on 1 August 2024. During her two-year tenure, she oversaw ABP’s decision to move from active management to index investing.
Dijkhuis was also a driving force behind the €502bn pension fund’s decision to divest from fossil fuels, and the fund’s new, more ambitious climate policies.
The timing of her departure is conspicuous, though, as this year ABP will start implementing its new index-based investment strategy, whereby many actively managed investments will be moved to new index-based mandates.
Dijkhuis’ departure does not, however, come completely unexpected as she has been on prolonged sick leave since early 2023. Since summer, her duties have been carried out ad interim by Rianne Lemsom, who has joined ABP’s board on a temporary basis.
It is not clear whether Dijkhuis’s long absence played any role in the decision to part ways. Both ABP and Dijkhuis said in separate statements that her departure has been agreed “on friendly terms”.
An ABP spokesperson added: “The decision has been made in consultation, and Dominique Dijkhuis is ready for a next step in her career. I decline to make any additional comments to respect her privacy.”
Dijkhuis will remain on ABP’s payroll until 1 August, ABP said in a press statement. Until a suitable successor has been found, Lemsom will continue to observe the role.
According to ABP, the departure of Dijkhuis will not affect the implementation of the new investment strategy.
“Dijkhuis has contributed significantly to, among other things, the new strategic investment policy and to ABP’s increased ambition to invest more sustainably. And we will continue with that,” the spokesperson said.
Dijkhuis also wrote in a post on LinkedIn that she was confident that ABP would continue “on the chosen path”.
In a press release distributed by ABP, Dijkhuis said she was proud of “the change that has been initiated toward a sustainable and explainable portfolio at lower costs”. She said she wanted to continue this mission “in a different environment”.
Dijkhuis previously worked for many years as a supervisor at DNB and AFM, among others.
This article was first published on Pensioen Pro, IPE’s Dutch sister publication.