Rail&OV, the new Dutch scheme of merged railways pension fund SPF and public transport scheme SPOV, is to switch to a one-tier board.
Currently, SPOV has a board model of equal representation, whereas SPF has a “mixed one-tier board”, of equally represented trustees combined with external supervisory members.
The executive board of the new scheme will be made up of four full-time members. It will be independently chaired by Gerard Groten, the current chair of SPF, who is also to become one of the 11 members of the non-executive board.
Dutch pension funds are increasingly switching from equally represented boards to a one-tier structure as it is considered more effective, efficient and transparent than the traditional paritary ones. A one-tier board, for example, doesn’t need a separate supervisory body.
The fact that SPF wanted to stick to its board setup was a reason for failed merger talks in 2017. At the time, SPOV was worried about the expertise of the equally represented executive trustees.
A spokesman for SPF Beheer, the provider and asset manager for the merged pension fund, explained that the new board model increased Rail&OV’s decisiveness, while keeping the concept of equal representation.
On the new executive board, Sabijn Timmers will handle portfolio finance, risk and IT. Currently she is director of risk management at Triodos Bank. Bart Oldenkamp, head of investment solutions at asset manager Robeco, has been tasked with asset management.
Peter-Paul Witte – SPOV’s current chair – is to become responsible for the temporary portfolio of transition.
All envisaged non-executive members originate from SPF and SPOV’s boards, with Paula Verhoef, Peggy Wilson and Frans van Wanrooij representing workers.
Huub van den Dungen and Rob Elberse are to represent pensioners. Mathilde Reintjes, Ronald Klein Wassink, Fred Kagie and Hans Fleer are to be appointed on behalf of the employers, which include the Dutch railways (NS), ProRail and the association of public transport companies (VOV).
There is still one vacancy to be filled.
The new €23.3bn pension fund is to start as of 1 April and will operate under chief executive officer Walter Mutsaers.
He is currently CEO at MPD, the pensions provider and asset manager for the €7.2bn pension fund PNO Media, and a former director at MN, the pensions provider and asset manager for the large metal schemes PMT and PME.