AUSTRIA - Günther Schiendl, head of investments at the APK Pensionskasse, will join the board at rival pension fund VBV from January.

He will succeed Johannes Martinek, who served on the board of the €4.2bn VBV Pensionskasse, the largest Austrian pension fund by asset size, for 18 years.

The board will consist of three members, including Karl Timmel, until Martinek's retirement in June 2008.

Schiendl's deputy, Manfred Brenner, will take over as head of investments for the €2.3bn APK fund and another member of the investment team, Poul Thybo, will take Brenner's role, while the board will remain unchanged.

"We have a very good team in place and our unique selling point is not linked to one person," Christian Böhm, head of APK, told IPE.

In a press release, the VBV noted during Schiendl's time at the APK the Pensionskasse "reported performances above market average".

However, Böhm noted his pension fund - which is one of the few Austrian funds not backed by an insurance or banking group - had outperformed its competitors even before Schiendl joined around seven years ago.

The smallest industry-wide Pensionskasse Bonus last week announced it has hired APK's former risk manager Gerhard Neustädter as new head of investments. (See earlier IPE article: IPE-winner loses heads)

APK won two IPE awards at this year's event in Vienna for its equity investment strategy and its use of derivatives. Bonus was named best Austrian pension fund.

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