NETHERLANDS - PGGM chairman of the executive directors, Karel Noordzij, has resigned from his post following an "irreconcilable difference of opinion" with the board of governors on policy within the pension fund.
In an announcement this morning, the e71.5bn fund confirmed it had been “jointly decided to end the relationship” between Noordzij and PGGM. He had consequently resigned from his post.
A spokesperson for PGGM said the dispute was not over one specific issue, but rather a disagreement on an “array of general policies”.
A spokesperson for the fund told Global Pensions Noordzij would receive a sum of around e500 000 as part of his departure. “PGGM has a deal with a number of its executive staff that pays them 24 months salary if they leave before their contract expires.”
PGGM said the board of governors would be discussing the appointment of a successor. In the interim, the other executive directors would take over Noordzij’s duties, with Heino van Essen as acting chairman.
Noordzij was appointed chairman in March 2004, following the resignation of Dick de Beus.
He was a director and interim chairman of the Dutch state-owned rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen for six months during 2002. His previous positions have included chairman and general manager of the Dutch transport and logistics organisation, Transport & Logistiek Nederland, and director of Schiphol Airport.
The announcement follows a recent decision by the pension fund to overhaul its investment management structure, abandoning conventional investment organisation based on asset classes.
Under the shake-up, PGGM appointed Leo Lueb, director of equities since November last year, as its new chief investment officer (CIO). In addition, the fund said it would “explicitly separate as well as manage” market risk, and the active investment policy.
By Damian Clarkson
A number of pension schemes have been prompted to lock in gains with a move into bonds after the estimated deficit across FTSE 100 DB pension schemes improved by £36bn, over the 12 months ending 30 June last year, JLT Employment Benefits found.
HM Treasury has agreed in principle to give NEST a £329m contingent liability guarantee in the event of the master trust's wind up or closure.
AMP Capital has set up a dedicated team to help institutional investors, including pension funds, invest in infrastructure through direct equity allocations.