The €199bn Dutch asset manager Robeco has confirmed that it will exit the investment administration sector in a bid to further focus on its core tasks.
It will transfer the investment administration services of Flexioen, its defined contribution product, to ABN Amro as of 1 January.
Of the 12 schemes using Flexioen for additional pensions accrual, three have already stated they accept the “pure play” asset manager concept.
These include the Dutch pension fund of Hewlett-Packard, Robeco’s own company scheme, as well as the occupational pension fund for marine pilots (Loodsen).
Flexioen enables pension schemes to offer an additional pension, on top of their basic pension arrangements for salaries up to the tax-facilitated maximum of €107,600.
Participants invest either through a standard lifecycle in funds selected by their pension scheme, or in individually picked funds through an opt-out offering.
Until now, Robeco – which had outsourced the investment administration to InAdmin-RiskCo – had been responsible for strategic asset allocation advice, portfolio construction in addition to investment administration.
However, as it decided to fully focus on asset management activities, it no longer wanted responsibility for the latter services.
Recently, it announced that it would cease offering fiduciary management for pension funds.
It had already transferred its low-cost DC vehicle (PPI) to ABN Amro.
Pensioenfonds Loodsen said it had decided to limit the number of investment funds its participants could opt for at ABN Amro, as some funds were not used at all.
On its website, the Hewlett-Packard scheme said it hadn’t yet decided on major changes in the lifecycle options.
It added that, as the potential benefits of scale at ABN Amro were limited, it would discuss the issues with both Robeco and the new administrator.
In a response, Tom Steenkamp, chair of Robeco’s pension fund, said he regretted the employer’s decision, “as we were satisfied with the service provision”.
He said ABN Amro had met Robeco’s pension scheme request to increase the number of Robeco options in the lifecycle funds on offer.
The company schemes for Rabobank and clothing retailer C&A (Provisum) are among the pension funds that also use Flexioen.
Robeco, which declined to provide details about Flexioen’s assets, said the product’s name would remain.