NETHERLANDS- Zorgverzekeraar VGZ, one of the largest specialised health insurers in the Netherlands, has appointed Goldman Sachs Asset Management as fiduciary manager for its entire investment portfolio worth almost e1bn. VGZ remains responsible for dictating the strategic investment policy but as fiduciary manager, Goldman Sachs will look after asset allocation, benchmarking, risk budgeting and manager selection and monitoring.

Hans Kestens, a board member at VGZ, says the appointment will enable them to focus on its core activities. The move is in part due to a realisation by the insurer that it lacks the internal resources to provide stakeholders with the best investment expertise.

Says Kestens: “although good and solid asset management is essential for our organisation, we do not have the expertise to cope with the changing complexity of international financial markets. “In Goldman Sachs we have found a partner that will manage our assets in such a way that, ultimately, our clients will benefit.”

Goldman Sachs is to oversee a number of separate VGZ portfolios totalling almost e1bn in assets. The money was previously managed by Fortis, ABN Amro, Robeco and Goldman Sachs but these contracts are soon expiring. A spokesman for VGZ says Goldman Sachs will report to them in six weeks with a list of potential managers.

In seven years VGZ has seen its assets triple to just under e1bn, a growth that has stretched its resources. “It has become more and more difficult to manage these assets. It’s not our core business. Goldman Sachs has a global view that is impossible for a small company like VGZ to obtain,” says the spokesman.