Talks on pan-European industry fund revealed

BELGIUM/EUROPE – European healthcare sector pension funds have started preliminary discussions over the possible creation of a pan-European industry fund, according to Amonis the newly created healthcare sector fund in Belgium.

Daniel Désir, a member of the board of the e552mBrussels-based VKG/CPM pension fund, the principle actor behind Amonis, says the creation of the Belgian industry-wide platform could lead to larger tie ups at the European level.
“We are talking to other pension funds around Europe with the same approach in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, and northern and southern Europe, where we might be able to envisage a fusion.

Karel Stroobants, general manager of the VKG fund, notes that in countries such as Denmark there are similar union/employer organised pension models within the healthcare sector.
Asked whether the creation of Amonis could be the first step in the creation of a pan-European sector fund, Stroobants, commented:
“In those countries where we have good contacts we have already exchanged views on such a possibility, so discussion has been initiated.
“Evidently in different countries there are different issues to look at.
“On the European front though, European Commissioner Frits Bolkestein is pushing hard to abolish the fiscal burdens that could prevent this and in Belgium if we see a draft law moving in the right direction and fiscal harmonisation in Europe, then why not?”

Désir adds that the forthcoming Belgian pension reform will change the relations of industry sectors in the country and adds the possibility of marketing the plan to other sectors outside healthcare is certainly an option
“It is not excluded that if we get a more solid liberalisation then we would go outside the healthcare sector to other liberal profession sectors such as lawyers, but our focus is on the healthcare sector at the moment.”

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