NETHERLANDS - SPF Beheer says it is in talks with three pension funds to take on their asset management and pension administration.

Director general Albert Akkerman made the comments in a statement sent to IPE today. He added that SPF was also in talks with three parties about so called ‘collegial assistance' services.

Utrecht-based SPF Beheer, which manages the €11.8bn railway fund SPF and the €2.3bn Dutch public transport workers' pensions fund SPOV, detailed late last year its plans to acquire the asset management of six pension funds in the next three year.

Akkerman added at the time that it also would offer assistance to schemes who wanted to remain independent, so called collegial assistance.

Elsewhere, SPF today announced that it booked an overall return on its portfolio on 2006 of 9.2%, exceeding the benchmark of 8.4%.

It returned 0.1% on its tactical asset allocation, another 0.2% on equities 0.2% and 0.6% on real estate. Fixed Income and currency allocation performed less well.

The total return for SPOV was 5.9% in 2006, outperforming the benchmark by 0.2%.

"The outperformance was mainly due to the strategic equities portfolio, the tactical asset allocation, and the active investment approach for direct real estate." SPOV's fixed income portfolio underperformed by 0.1% in 2006.

The fund also said that it initiated a private equity portfolio last year. "At 31 December 2006 its weighting within the overall portfolio was 0.40%," the fund said.

It added that a further €67m had been committed to private equity funds. "These funds will be called and invested in the coming years. The target weight over time is a minimum of 5% and a maximum of 7.5%," according to SPOV.