NETHERLANDS- Former Shell pension fund treasurer Robert Meijer is launching an integrated back office system for pension funds in Europe. Meijer, now an independent consultant, along with an IT company, an accountancy firm and a software house began developing the system two months ago.
AMIC, or Asset Management Information and Control, will execute the normal settlement of equities, bonds futures and options. It will in addition offer accounting, securities lending, cash management and risk analysis. Performance measurement and attribution and counterparty exposure management will also be covered.
The project is in its infancy and will be financially unfeasible if not backed at the outset by a Dutch fund larger than e10bn. “We are not going to do anything if we don’t have one or two major clients,” he says. If the project gets endorsed, Meijer hopes to have something launched by the end of the year.
Meijer maintains that the back office is often the weakest link in a pension fund. “Contracting out everything to a custodian is not always the best solution as it often costs more. This approach is a way for them to contract out some of their non-core business,” he says.
Meijer stresses that the product is not meant to be exclusively for a Dutch clientele. “There is no real difference in terms of a pension fund’s back office, wherever it is based.” He says it would suit multinationals whose pension funds tend to be organised per country and as such have separate back offices.