BELGIUM - Belgian asset managers are being forced to be more selective in the number of pension fund RFPs that they respond to.
Investment consultants operating in the Belgian market have beefed up their first round manager selection process to include more questions and a tighter turnaround time.
“More information is now requested, and there are shorter deadlines to reply,” said Luc Rasschaert, global head of investor services and communication at Dexia Asset Management.
Because the questions are becoming more numerous and more detailed, Dexia Asset Management is responding to fewer RFPs.
“It has dissuaded Dexia from tendering for all but those in which we have a good or morethan average chance of success,” Rasschaert said.
Frederik Cosyns, a senior officer in institutional business development at KBC AssetManagement, agreed with Rasschaert about the length of questionnaires, but said he hadnot noticed that response times had become shorter.
“There are more questions on investment, risk control, investment philosophy,” he said.
Consultants acknowledge that questionnaires are more detailed.
“There’s a general tendency that much more work is done on due diligence than in thepast,” said Frans Ballendux, head of Mercer Investment Consultanting in Belgium andthe Netherlands.
The reaction from Belgian asset managers may be more due to the fact that internationalinvestment consultants are more frequently used by pension funds than in the past, according to Hewitt Associates.
“We have become much more active more recently in the Belgian market from the manager selection point of view,” said Eddy Bannet, head of investment consulting for Hewitt Associates for Belgium and the Netherlands.
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