GERMANY - Volksfürsorge, a German insurer, says it took in almost €100m in new contributions from its corporate pension schemes in Germany last year.

Volksfürsorge said the near €100m was split evenly between Pensor Pensionsfonds, its Anglo-Saxon type pension fund, and other vehicles such as its Direktversicherung (direct insurance contract).

Pensor was one of the first German Pensionsfonds to be launched in 2002. Begun as a joint venture between Commerzbank and German pensions consultant Höfer Vorsorgemanagement, Pensor was acquired by Volksfürsorge in July 2005.

Asked by IPE what Pensor's total assets were to date, a spokesman said Volksfürsorge was not yet legally permitted to disclose the figure. "There will be a meeting on Pensor's full results by our supervisory board soon. After then, we're planning to make a separate announcement just on Pensor," the spokesman said.

Volksfürsorge, which is owned by Italian insurance giant Generali, is just of several German financial service providers that operate a Pensionsfonds to chase third-party pension business.
Pensionsfonds that are sponsored by companies only include those of Robert Bosch, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens.

Volksfürsorge also said its business with the Riester-Rente, a government-subsidised private pension, continued to boom in 2006. The insurer said it sold 80,000 new Riester contracts, taking in €62m in contributions.

Earlier this week, Deutscher Pensionsfonds, a joint venture between Deutsche Asset Management and Swiss insurer Zurich, said it had become the biggest in this market segment after receiving more than €500m in pension assets from French industrial firm Saint Gobain.

Separately, the German arm of Sweden's SEB Asset Management said its assets under management - both retail and institutional - totalled €19.7bn at the end of 2006, up €5.1bn from the previous year.

Apart from its retail and institutional fund business, SEB AM's German arm is a major provider of open-ended real estate funds, with €6.2bn invested in these products.