NETHERLANDS - SBZ, the €2.57bn industry-wide pension fund for care insurers, is looking to make changes to its environmental, social and governance structure and its real estate portfolio, as part of its earlier swap to fiduciary management.

Peter van Gemst, director of finance and investments at the pension fund, told delegates at the ALM 2008 conference in Amsterdam his fund is currently conducting a study to outsource its €250m real estate portfolio.

Van Gemst told IPE: "We have a large chunk, about €200m, invested in Dutch direct real estate and the remaining E50m in indirect real estate."

SBZ transfered its assets into fiduciary management in the second part of last year, when it appointed ABN Amro Asset Management, now part of Fortis Investments, as its lead overlay manager and Russell Investments as its multi-manager, though none of the two had enough expertise to take on the real estate portfolio, said Van Gemst.

The fund will also examine the structure of the real estate portfolio to see whether or not the large asset allocation to direct real estate within the portfolio is still appropriate.

In July last year, the fund already said it has decreased its investments in property by 5% to 10% of its total portfolio and will focus its immediate attention on Dutch direct real estate.

At that time, SBZ said in its annual report at least 75% of its investments would be hedged against currency risks while interest risks will also be fully-hedged.

Also as part of the fiduciary move, the fund is now looking to appoint an engagement overlay manager, while establishing a new social responsible investment (SRI) policy.

The fund wants to move away from its excluding policy and instead wants to implement a more engagement-driven SRI policy, whereby it engages with companies before excluding them from the investment portfolio.

Van Gemst said the move towards fiduciary management, initiated in 2005, has sparked a rebuild of its entire investment and management structure.

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