Karel Stroobants, the former general manager of the VKG/CPM pension fund in Brussels, has broken his silence about his future plans.
Confirming that he no longer has any operational role in connection with the e450m fund for doctors, dentists and pharmacists, he says he will act as an adviser to Amonis. This was set up last year under his leadership to widen the activities of VKG/CPM to other areas of the health sector.
His intention is to act as an “active independent director” on the boards of pension funds, investment funds and asset managers. “I explicitly want to take the responsibility that goes with a board membership,” he says. “I prefer this to an advisory or consulting mandate.”
Stroobants hopes to have four or five such directorships across a range of businesses, including an international group arrangement or two. The important aspect is to be able to provide “a strategic approach to problems.” He already acts as an adviser to the sector scheme for the Belgium metal workers.
Recently he was re-elected president of the Belgian Association of pension funds. This will enable him to be involved in the final stages of the new Vandenbroucke law for pension funds which should be completed this summer.
The chairman of the VKG/CPM fund Dr Jean-Pierre Galliez, says that
Stroobants’ role with Amonis will be that of using his “connections with the political sphere by lobbying relevant ministers and helping us follow the developments of the new laws on pensions.”
Amonis, which started a year ago this month, has three main areas of operations. The planned pension fund for physiotherapists has not started as yet, says Galliez, because of problems relating to the fiscal aspects.
The insurance company set up for groups of health workers still faces some problems before it gets going, he says. However, the investment fund is doing “quite well”, says Galliez. “There is a lot of interest from groups of doctors and dentists and the portfolio is doing well.”
The VKG/CPM pension fund is looking for a replacement for Stroobants and has approached head-hunters according to Galliez. “We hope to have someone in place by the end of the year.”
Neither side is prepared to comment on the reasons why Stroobants quit. “We have an agreement between the two parties that no comment will be made until the end of the year,” says Galliez.
The performance of the fund does not appear to have been an issue. There is some speculation that the pace of change under Stroobants may have been too fast for the board members.
Galliez says, however, that the board was not clear about the reasons for his resignation. “We felt that perhaps he was no longer interested in the job as general manager.”