Denmark’s AkademikerPension says it is open to forming closer cooperation with the Pensionskassen Arkitekter & Designere (PAD), which is considering seeking alternatives to its current investment manager and administrator Sampension.

Jens Munch Holst, CEO of AkademikerPension, told IPE: “We are very flattered that PAD and its members are looking our way.”

The board of PAD has stated that it is continuing to work with a raft of new proposals that were adopted at its latest annual general meeting (AGM) in April, including carrying out impartial market checks among pension services providers.

The proposals recommended focusing on sustainability when seeking offers from other providers, and specifically advised that an offer should be obtained from fellow labour-market pension fund AkademikerPension, which has its own investment and administrative operations and group total assets of DKK162.5bn (€21.8bn).

The board of the DKK11.3bn pension fund for architects and designers - Denmark’s smallest member-owned pension fund - has been under new leadership as of 9 June.

The new deputy chairman, Rikke Rohr, was voted onto the board after running a campaign centred around the need for climate-friendly investment at the pension fund.

In the wording of the proposals adopted at the AGM, PAD members said pension funds had developed their own climate action plans in recent years, but that Sampension had been relatively slow to take climate action, despite its persistent communication on green topics.

“This does not meet the expectations of architects and designers,” PAD members wrote in the document.

“AkademikerPension’s membership matches [PAD’s] in terms of education. Since the Paris Agreement, the pension fund has realised the highest returns, has comparable costs, and is regarded by NGOs as a leader in sustainable pension management,” they wrote.

The two pension funds have a history of working together, having shared pensions administration and investment services until around 2016 under the Unipension cooperation.

Asked to respond to the news from PAD, Munch Holst said that although his pension fund was flattered, this was a matter for PAD and its members.

“We are of course happy to provide any data when they want a comparison,” he told IPE. 

“We are open for any kind of discussion of a closer cooperation between PAD and ourselves. We are a pension fund based for and developed by academics. And architects are academics with a strong value-based identity, therefore we find that it could be a good match,” he said.

No offers have yet been made though, he added.

AkademikerPension is already in the process of forming a collaboration with Greenlandic pension fund SISA with a view to taking over provision of administrative services from SISA’s current provider AP Pension.

IPE’s 2023 European Pensions Guide, including asset breakdowns of the leading 1000 funds, will be published in September.

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