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Three top executives leave Dutch doctors scheme

NETHERLANDS – The 10.5 billion-euro SBA Artsenpensioenfonds (Pension Fund for General Practitioners and Medical Specialists) in the Netherlands has lost three senior executives over the course of three months, it has emerged.

Holland’s Financieele Dagblad revealed this week that SBA’s chief executive, Dick Hoek, had left the fund two weeks ago. Three months prior to that, the interim head of investments and a deputy director were also let go at the country’s sixth- largest pension fund. The resignations come amid a restructuring of the fund to comply with the country’s new corporate governance code.

SBA, which is run by the doctor’s fund and medical specialists fund, is splitting its activities into a board that sets policy, and a separate company looking after administrative and asset management. The changes are to be implemented in the spring of next year.

This week, Dutch media speculation focused on the SBA fund being in crisis, with the Financieele Dagblad quoting anonymous sources saying there was a power struggle between the doctor’s fund and the medical specialists fund.

This was strongly refuted by interim chief executive Bert Bos, who used to run the SBA fund as joint chief executive with Hoek. Ton Groeneveld, a former Dutch Railways fund executive, has been named interim head of investments.

Bos stressed the departure of all three senior executives had “absolutely nothing” to do with a power struggle. “Differences of opinion happen in almost every organisation. There is no power struggle. Yes, three senior executives have left, but that has nothing to do with the restructuring,” he said.

“The interim head of investments had come to the end of his added value, that’s why we replaced him with Ton Groeneveld,” he said. He added the departure of Dick Hoek was done by “mutual consent”. Bos did not want to divulge any more information on Hoek’s departure because of a confidentiality clause.

Bos said the departure of the deputy director was “an internal matter” that had come to a head after a lengthy process.

Bos further said the restructuring process was part of a move towards more transparency and reflected the “ever-changing” times pension funds had to operate in.

“We are a big player in the Netherlands, and we want to make sure we have good corporate governance,” he said. “Everything is under control.”

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