Wider exposure will come as result of awards wins
Belgacom is a very well-organised fund, the judges comment. This is not too surprising a view, since the fund to its delight has won both investment strategy and fund administration awards in this year’s roll of honour. Now the Brussel-based pension fund is keen to find out what set it apart from other applicants.
“We think that applying for the IPE Award was a real challenge. Whilst winning is obviously a source of pride and motivation for all of us, it is important now to discover what convinced the judges we were the best in our class,” says Belgacom’s Philip Neyt.
Neyt believes one of the key factors in its success is the way Belgacom has successfully organised its HR and finance departments with a clear separation of roles for the pension fund team.
“Belgium is a country of relatively small pension funds and even the larger ones are relatively small by European standards. This means a lot of the pension fund work is divided between the finance and HR departments of the sponsoring company. This can lead to ambiguity. We have worked hard to make the scheme one of Europe’s most transparent and accountable pension plans and paid a lot of attention to the way we organise ourselves as this reflects our decision-making process,” he explains.
Neyt says winning the award and the exposure it brings will provide an ideal forum for Belgacom’s pensions team to meet its counterparts across Europe and swap ideas. “We are open to suggestions as to how we might improve our structure and we are more than wiling to share our views with other pension funds,” he comments.
Internally, Neyt says the awards acts as a key motivator. “The award is more than ample recognition of the teams’ efforts, including our investment managers, who will also be motivated by the awards. But you’re only as good as next year’s award. Remaining ‘state-of-the-art’ is an ongoing process and winning the awards does not mean we can now rest on our laurels,” he says.