The Netherlands’ NN Group announced yesterday it is reviewing “strategic options” for its asset management division, NN Investment Partners (NN IP). These include a sale, merger and listing.
NN IP has around €300bn in assets under management and is specialised in sustainable investing, fixed income, alternative credit and multi-asset solutions. “The current review is aimed at assessing the opportunities to create a broader platform to enable NN IP to accelerate its growth,” a statement said.
The move comes little over a year after activist hedge fund Elliott announced it had taken a 3% stake in NN. Elliott is understood to have pushed for the sale of some of NN’s non-core assets.
Dutch pension funds are among the largest clients of The Hague-based NN IP. According to figures from trade publication Pensioen Pro, pension funds and other Dutch institutional investors including its parent company, insurer NN, are responsible for more than half of the firm’s assets under management.
With €156m in institutional assets at the end of 2019, the firm is the sixth-largest institutional asset manager in the Netherlands.
Some €52bn of this is fiduciary assets of pension funds, according to Pensioen Pro data. This makes NN IP also the sixth-largest player in fiduciary management in the country.
The low-margin fiduciary business in the Netherlands is currently in a strong consolidation trend, with smaller, mainly foreign players leaving the market. NN IP declined to comment.
NN is not the first Dutch insurance firm to consider spinning off its asset management division. Athora – formerly Vivat – announced earlier this year it was going to sell its asset management branch Actiam.