NETHERLANDS – PGGM, the second largest Dutch pension fund, has named its former chief economist Peter Kraneveld as special adviser for international affairs, with a brief to monitor EU legislation.

He said: ““Knowing that pensions_directive IORP was a way-station, not the terminal, PGGM decided that it needed someone who kept an eye on developments full time. I got the chance and was happy to grab it.”

“The first drafts of what is now the IORP directive contained language that would have severely impaired the interests of our clients for little or no benefit,” Kraneveld said.

“I became part of the effort to convince the EU institutions to change that language. Fortunately, we had a compelling argument and they were good listeners. The end result was a modern directive that opens up real possibilities for market integration.”

He added: “PGGM is actively involved on a number of levels in European questions. What could be more practical than two new directives that are currently being drafted, one on pension portability and one on corporate governance?”

Kraneveld said: “Pension funds are very different from one EU country to another, yet there are overlaps, that often serves to confuse even further. In my mind, it is imperative that European pension providers learn to understand the situation in other European countries.”

He added that despite “misunderstandings” between the funded and pay-as-you-go systems, that there is “an excellent argument for co-existence, with a significant role for both”.

Speaking at the International Fund Management Conference in Amsterdam last year, Kraneveld said the directive - Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision - had opened up "irresistible" opportunities for all European pension players.

Of his former role as chief economist he said that role has been redistributed between several people.