NETHERLANDS - The €74.4bn Dutch pension fund PGGM has confirmed it will announce any decision on separating its asset management and administration from the actual pension fund in November, with one source claiming it was clear that was what the fund wanted to do.
PGGM spokeswoman Ellen Habermehl declined to comment on the specifics of any overhaul of the fund’s corporate identity, as exclusively revealed by Global Pensions in July, but said: “Our goal is to make our relationship with members even stronger, that’s why we are aiming for a co-operative.”
One source, who asked not to be named, commented: “It is pretty clear that they do want to break [the fund] down into the constituent businesses, which makes a lot of sense. There is value in these businesses, the question is how to maximise it.”
The move would put PGGM in direct competition with banks and insurers in the Dutch market, but Habermehl stressed that was not PGGM’s primary goal.
The e14bn PKA in Denmark last month launched a separate subsidiary to deal solely with its administration, and Habermehl agreed it was an attractive prospect for large funds to separate certain parts of their business.
“In Holland, the reason is that it gives more space to choose your own products and markets,” she said.
PGGM declined to comment on whether the proposed divisions would be wholly separate entities, but the source said that would most likely be the case.
“From a legal perspective they would not have to be completely separate, but practically they would,” the source said. “There is no point in breaking things up unless you give everything legal existence. Practically, it is clear you will have to go down that route.”
Jonathan Stapleton asks whether newly-accredited professional trustees should be a statutory fixture on pension scheme boards.
Savers are being warned by the Insolvency Service to guard their pension pots from investment scammers and negligent trustees as it winds up 24 companies.
Respondents say they should only be required in certain situations as the system is not broken.