NETHERLANDS – Vanguard said it remains committed to its European institutional business despite a number of executive departures.

It has emerged that Ronald Nagel, the head of Vanguard’s institutional business head in the Netherlands, is to leave at the end of January to pursue “other professional opportunities”.

Nagel’s departure means that the firm has lost two European institutional business heads in less than 18 months.

Nagel joined Vanguard from ABN Amro Asset Management in November 2004, and succeeded Benelux institutional head Theo van der Meer who moved to Fidelity.

Reports suggest that Van der Meer’s decision to quit was based on the belief that Vanguard was moving more towards retail business.

However, a Vanguard spokesperson today stated: “Vanguard has no intention of moving to the retail market place in the Netherlands or more broadly speaking in continental Europe, and we remain committed to serve the European institutional community, whether pension funds or financial institutions.

“In fact, we are pursuing the expansion of our product solution set to pension institutions across Europe,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, no replacement for Nagel has yet been named.

“In the interim, several senior Dutch-speaking members on our team will assume our client relationships and we are fully confident that we will continue to offer the high-level of service that our Dutch clients have grown accustomed to from Vanguard.”

In October last year, a Belgian court ordered Vanguard to pay damages of almost €400,000 to former European marketing assistant director Henk Beets.

Beets had sued Vanguard Investments Europe for €1m following a fallout with managing director Ian Alcock.