NETHERLANDS - Cordares Group, the e17.5bn Dutch asset management company for the building industry has acquired ASW, the e3.5bn company for pension funds in the house renting business, to create one of the largest pension fund management companies in the Dutch market with total assets of e21bn.
The Cordares/ASW is the second big deal in as many months to hit the market following the Philips/Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) deal, which saw Philips sell its e13.5bn pension fund company to MLIM.
Dutch pension funds are being forced to consider their management structures on the back of new regulatory changes and an increasingly punishing investment climate.
Thom Hoedemakers, spokesman for Cordares (formerly SFB Group) said: “This acquisition is about creating greater economies of scale. ASW also deals with smaller and medium size organisations unlike Cordares which has mostly large pension fund clients, so this acquisition will provide us with small and medium sized pension fund clients.” Cordares’ biggest client is the e14bn pension fund for the building sector - Bouwnijverheid.
Cordares will also take over 100 of ASW’s employees taking the total count to 1100 employees.
Hoedemakers said that Cordares would continue with the “existing situation” with regard to managers running ASW’s assets.
“We are more concerned with the track record of these managers. We will see how they perform over the coming months,” he said.
Hoedemakers said that Cordares was also expected to strike a second deal with another pension fund management company shortly.
“We have said that we are interested in expanding our operations and we have said that we are looking to add on at least two Dutch players by the end of the year. We are also looking at possibilities in countries which have a more liberal policy such as Italy and Belgium,” he added.
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