NETHERLANDS - A Dutch court has ruled PGGM, the newly-separated manager of the €88bn pension fund Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW), may continue calling itself ‘PGGM'.

The court decided yesterday the transfer of the name PGGM from the pension fund - which only recently had the name change to PFZW - to its new investment manager is lawful.

The Dutch Association of Insurance Companies (Verbond van Verzekeraars) took PFZW to court in January, claiming it amounted to unfair competition. (See earlier IPE story: PGGM in court again over insurance activity)

Establishing a new commercial organisation that, since the split of the pension fund and the administrative body, carries the same name as the widely known pension fund while offering life course insurance products under that name constitutes unfair competition, said the association at the time.

"The Association has the view that PGGM, with the rehanging of name tags, wants to gain commercial advantages from its famous name," a statement read on the organisation's website in January.

Peter Borgdorff, the former head of the pension umbrella organisation VB and now director at the PFZW fund, commented in a statement: "We see this ruling as a judicial reconfirmation of our choice to transfer the name PGGM to the administration body."

Henny Zoontjes, spokesman for the association said his organisation is considering an appeal: "This is a matter of principle, and we think that PGGM is misleading clients with this construction."

Akkie Lansberg, chief executive of the Holland Financial Centre (HFC) - set up to promote Holland as a financial centre of excellence - last week called for a departure from "internal competition" within the Dutch pension sector.

She said: "Where we are competing, we are doing this too much with each other, rather than with other countries," referring to the recent quarrels between the pension fund and insurance organisations about issues such as the offering of life course products.

The Association, however, is pleading for fair competition among Dutch players and between Dutch and international competitiors, commented Zoontjes.

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