BELGIUM - The arrival of the institutional SICAV (société d'investissement à capital variable) vehicle in Belgium could see pension funds and asset managers competing directly against one another.
The law change means pension funds could create their own, larger, SICAVs and compete with asset managers for pension fund assets. According to KBC Asset Management MD Edwin de Boek this could prove a threat in the future.
“They could become promoters of their own SICAV, and outsource the management of that to specialist managers, which would effectively be more competition for us in a way,” said de Boek. “But that could also prove an opportunity as they would also compete for that money.”
€800m Amonis pension fund CFO Tom Mergaerts said pension funds might look to offer a pooling vehicle for different pension funds, and agreed they would be competing against the likes of banks.
“We try to align the goals of several pension funds, but banks might not have the same goals,” explained Mergaerts. “Their fund will want to be the best performer because it wants to sell more, they are not thinking in terms of optimal investment returns over, say, 10 years.
“Wanting to be the best to sell more is not necessarily in line with a pension fund, which has a long term horizon. So we might want to offer a vehicle in line with a pension fund’s liabilities.”
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