UK - KAS Bank of the Netherlands has been appointed as the first ever global custodian of the 320 million-pound (461.7 million-euro) pension fund of Norcros, the UK-based tile and shower maker.

Commenting on the deal, Gordon Baker, group pensions and benefits manager at Norcros, said: “We thought it advantageous to have everything being held together by one central custodian.”

Baker further said having one global custodian would also give it more leverage, making it easier to negotiate better deals.

He added the decision would give the company more flexibility. “If we want to go into stock lending, for example, it will be much easier to work with one organisation instead of several different ones.”

Previously, Norcros used the custody services of its respective asset managers: Henderson Global Investors, Liontrust, State Street Global Advisors and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. The four will continue to manage the fund’s assets.

KAS said it would provide custody, investment accounting, performance measurement and cash management services to the Norcros Security Plan.

Kate Parker, head of UK sales at KAS, called the deal “a welcome addition to our UK client base.” She added: “We are making great progress in the UK market as this appointment confirms.”

Other UK clients of KAS include the Cheviot Trust, Brunner Mond, Jesus College Cambridge and Johnson Group.

The bank said Norcros had taken the decision to appoint a global custodian after a rigorous due diligence process.

Last month KAS said it would change its own pension scheme amid higher costs as a result of new International Financial Reporting Standards.

The Amsterdam-based group said: "We have gained a further insight into the effects of the implementation of IFRS on the reported pension charges in the event that the current final pay scheme remains unchanged. “