THE NETHERLANDS - Heino van Essen has been appointed as chairman of the executive directors of PGGM, the industry-wide pension fund for the health care and social work sector has announced.

Van Essen, 60, has been a member of the three-strong executive director team of the €74bn scheme and acting chairman since last March, when chairman Karel Noordzij resigned unexpectedly.

PGGM's governing board has asked Van Essen to chair the executive directors during the discussions on its new strategy and the implementation. Once implementation  of the new strategy is underway, the board is to review  the composition of the executive directors and the numbers of members it has.

At present, the fund's board  is engaged in intensive consultation about the fund's future strategy with the employers' and employees' representatives in the sector. This covers  the segregation of policymaking and  implementation, fund governance and expansion of services for the healthcare and social work sector with a view to delivering integrated home provision  built on "a sound pension scheme', said PGGM.

In addition to Van Essen, whose is responsible for the staff department and the pensions business, the other two executive directors are chief investment officer Else Bos and head  of finances and control Rene van de Kieft.

Van Essen's appointment needs approval of the pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank before it can come into effect.