Dutch mandate roundup: Syntrus Achmea, AZL, NN IP, Cardano, TKP
Levensmiddelen, the €4.8bn pension for the Dutch grocery sector, is planning to drop its administration provider Syntrus Achmea in preference for rival provider AZL.
It said Levensmiddelen and AZL would sign a declaration of intent in the near future, preceding “exclusive” negotiations, with the view to securing a final agreement by the first quarter of 2017.
The pension fund said it also wanted to outsource board support, as well as advice on actuarial matters and communications, to AZL.
Levensmiddelen was one of several Dutch pension funds forced to find a new provider after Syntrus Achmea announced in November that it would stop offering its services to industry-wide schemes.
In other news, the €1.2bn pension fund for news daily De Telegraaf has appointed NN Investment Partners as fiduciary asset manager, responsible for strategic investment advice and manager selection, via its Altis subsidiary.
Until now, the pension fund has carried out its investment policy in-house, with more than 40% of assets – including listed property and credit – placed in external funds.
It said it would also outsource liability-driven investment, adding that it aimed to have all of its assets managed externally.
Meanwhile, the €1.1bn Pensioenfonds Arcadis has announced that it will outsource the management of its fixed income portfolio, as well as its interest and currency swaps, to Cardano.
Until now, its bonds holdings have been managed by Delta Lloyd Asset Management, while the scheme carried out its interest and currency hedge in-house.
The pension fund said it was concerned that the management of its derivatives, including central clearing, would become overly complicated following the introduction of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
Lastly, the €4.8bn Dutch pension fund for IT company IBM has said it will place its defined benefit plan with provider TKP, as it no longer wishes to use two different providers.
TKP is already the administrator for IBM’s defined contribution arrangements, while its DB plan – covering 11,000 participants – remained with Blue Sky Group.
Wouter van Eechoud, the scheme’s director, said the pension fund was hoping to simplify processes and believed that a single provider would improve efficiency and quality.
He took pains to emphasise that his scheme had not been dissatisfied with Blue Sky’s service.