NETHERLANDS – The €128bn asset manager and pensions provider PGGM has appointed Else Bos as temporary chief executive following the sudden departure of Martin van Rijn, who has been appointed state secretary for healthcare, sports and welfare in the new Dutch government.

Bos has been working for PGGM since 2002, when she started as COO of investments. 

In 2010, she was appointed as chief of institutional business and deputy chief executive.

Herman de Boon, chairman of the supervisory board, stressed that continuity at PGGM has been guaranteed with Bos's appointment.

"Bos has ample experience in the financial world and in the pensions sector, and she knows the organisation of PGGM well," he said. "She will continue PGGM's mapped out policy.”

"Of course, the departure of Martin van Rijn is a loss, but we are convinced his added value will also become clear in government."

Van Rijn, who had been at the helm at PGGM for the past five years, is to succeed Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten as state secretary.

Previously, PGGM's departing chief executive has been top civil servant at the ministry of healthcare, the home ministry and the ministry of housing, successively.

After van Rijn's departure, PGGM's executive team will comprise Else Bos, Paul Loven (CFO), Bart Blanken (CMO), Eloy Lindeijer (CIM) and Harry Vossebeld (COO).

Van Rijn's nomination for the post of state secretary caused a bit of a stir, as it seemed to breach his own party's code of practice on earnings.

The labour party PvdA stipulates that members who earn more than the prime minister should be ineligible for a place in government.

Van Rijn's salary was €469,000 last year, whereas the prime minister's salary was €193,000.

However, Joop van den Berg, former senator for the PvdA, who has been tasked with a review of the code, had no objection to Van Rijn's appointment, according to daily NRC Handelsblad.

The NRC quoted Van den Berg as saying: "People like Van Rijn are involved in risky activities for pension funds. If they do this in a satisfactory way, they should be properly rewarded."

Meanwhile, the PvdA has also confirmed that Lodewijk Asscher – councillor and alderman of Amsterdam – is to succeed current social affairs minister Henk Kamp.

Asscher has been alderman for finance, education, youth policy and public safety since 2006.

Despite his lack of experience on pensions, he is widely considered as a political heavyweight.

He is to take up his post midway through a thorough revision of the Dutch pensions system, which is scheduled to come into force from 1 January 2014.

Asscher is also to be appointed as depute prime minister.