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Mandate roundup: PIC, Aon Retirement Plan, NN Investment Partners

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The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has agreed a pension buy-in with the Aon Retirement Plan for £900m (€1.1bn), insuring the liabilities relating to the consultancy’s UK employees.

The transaction, primarily funded with Gilts, covers most of the pensioner liabilities across two sections of the segregated plan.

The buy-in is the third such deal between PIC and an Aon-sponsored scheme.

In 2014 and 2012, it concluded two buy-ins with the Aon Minet Pension Scheme, for £210m and £100m, respectively.

David Burton, independent chair of the scheme’s trustees, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to conclude this transaction at a time of considerable market volatility.

“By securing this buy-in asset, we have taken a significant step in our long-term de-risking plan, following a smaller transaction with another insurer last December.”

Matt Barnes, senior actuary at PIC, said: “We are proud to have been able to help the trustees of the Aon Retirement Plan with this significant de-risking exercise, highlighting the attractiveness of pension funds holding a buy-in as a matching asset in place of Gilts or other strategies.

“This was the first sizeable pension insurance transaction under the new Solvency II regime, showing that large buy-ins priced under Solvency II remain an attractive option for trustees.”

The lead adviser to the trustees was Aon Hewitt, with CMS Cameron McKenna providing legal advice.

In other news, the €270m Dutch scheme Pensioenfonds Pon has appointed NN Investment Partners as its fiduciary manager.

The multi-company scheme, with 11,000 former workers and pensioners, comprises two pension funds of Dutch VW importer Pon, building company Geveke and bicycle manufacturer Gazelle.

The Gazelle scheme had already contracted out its fiduciary management to NN IP when it joined the multi-scheme in 2014.

Bas Sprong, chairman at the Pensioenfonds Pon, said: “By choosing NN IP as fiduciary manager, we will achieve synergy benefits for all compartments of our pension fund.

“We consider NN IP as an independent asset manager, which enables us to carry out a proper investment strategy and implementation. It has a good track record and provides tailor-made advice.”

Last week, the €2bn sector scheme for public libraries, Bibliotheken, extended its fiduciary contract with NN IP for an indefinite period.

The fiduciary manager also welcomed the €300m pension fund of merchant bank NIBC as a new client earlier this year.

NN provides the NIBC scheme with strategic advice, liability-driven investment, operational balance management and management reporting.

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