APG increases Vesteda stake as institutions eye Dutch housing

first_imgThere is renewed attention on the Dutch residential market after prices started to recover, and the government has sought to shake up a rental market long dominated by housing associations.New rules introduced in January are expected to force housing associations – which control approximately 90% of the rented sector – to focus on social housing and open the PRS sector to private and institutional investors.The regulated rented sector – where rents are controlled – has been largely liberalised for tenants paying €700 and above per month.Mark Frequin, director-general for housing and building, told delegates the changes were part of a number of measures intended to liberalise the PRS sector in the Netherlands.Wienke Bodewes, chief executive at Amvest, which manages a number of institutional residential funds in the Netherlands, said there were some 400 housing associations.“The challenge will be to form new portfolios” for institutional investors, he said, because many of the housing associations are small, and portfolios coming to the market could be fragmented.It was also noted during discussions that some housing associations might sell social housing assets, potentially in “packages” mixed with non-regulated assets.Bodewes said most investors would focus on core and core-plus residential investments, but he said there could also be an opportunity for value-added strategies in this area.He said this would be “the exception”.When asked, Kanters did not rule out APG investing in the regulated part of the rental market, although he said social housing assets were more challenging to underwrite and any investment would need to compensate APG for the added risk.APG has recent experience of investing in a mixture of regulated and non-regulated rental assets in Finland, having bought a 22.8% stake this year in Finnish company SATO.It has been building up its exposure to the UK PRS sector, investing in existing assets through Grainger and providing capital for Delancy to develop new homes.It has also been providing construction financing for PRS through LaSalle Investment Management.Kanters said APG was seeking to increase its 18% weighting to residential real estate to meet its target allocation of 25%.A spokesman confirmed APG would close on a deal on Monday to increase its stake in Vesteda.The portfolio of Vesteda used to be owned directly by ABP – the largest pension fund in the Netherlands and APG’s biggest client – before it sought to become an entirely indirect investor.APG’s latest investment marks a reversal of its strategy to decrease its stake in Vesteda.The spokesman said: “We are looking into making further investments in the Dutch residential sector.” APG is increasing its stake in Vesteda and likely to be among investors taking advantage of deregulation in the Netherlands to snap up housing assets.The Dutch pension fund asset manager will close on a deal on Monday to increase its €1.05bn interest in the housing fund by a further €30m.Patrick Kanters, managing director of global real estate and infrastructure, told a delegation in London this week that APG was looking to make further investments in Dutch housing, potentially through other platforms.Kanters, who was speaking at a Holland Property Plaza Symposium at the Dutch Embassy, said APG could look to invest in private-rented residential (PRS) being offloaded by housing associations.last_img read more

FRC’s asset-ceiling proposals for DB sponsors draw mixed reactions

first_imgHowever, speaking in support of FRED 55, Aon Hewitt accounting specialist Martin Lowes said: “This strikes me as a very sensible departure from IFRIC 14, and they have clearly taken a pragmatic approach within the spirit of simplifying GAAP for smaller companies.”FRS102 is a simplified and localised version of the IFRS for SMEs.It takes effect for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015 and replaces the majority of today’s UK Financial Reporting Standards and UITF Abstracts.In effect, this means the majority of UK and Irish large and medium-sized entities – among them public benefit entities, retirement benefit plans and financial institutions – will apply the new standard.The source of the dispute between the experts are proposals in FRED 55 that the FRC hopes will address concerns over whether or not an entity that applies FRS102 should have regard to the principles in IFRIC 14.IFRIC 14 is a guidance document issued by the IASB in 2007.It deals with the interaction between a minimum funding requirement and the restriction in paragraph 58 of IAS19 on the measurement of the DB asset or liability.FRED 55 would kick in where an entity reports under FRS102 and has already booked a DB asset or liability on its balance sheet.As the proposals stand, an entity in that position would need to recognise no further liability in respect of an agreement to pay future deficit contributions (in excess of the accounting deficit) under a schedule of contributions.In addition, on a separate issue, FRED 55 confirms that entities should recognise the effect of restricting the recognition of surplus in a DB plan, where surplus is not recoverable, in other comprehensive income and not in profit and loss.The FRC has issued a number of editorial amendments and clarifications to FRS102 since it released the new standard on 14 March 2013.Entities that are not required to apply EU-endorsed IFRS, the FRS101 Reduced Disclosure Framework or the FRSSE must apply FRS102.Explaining the impact of the FRED 55 approach against full IFRS, Martin Lowes told IPE: “The FRC has proposed a few extra words to bring about some clarity.”The UK regulator, he said, has “clarified that if you have promised to pay future deficit contributions, you don’t need to look at whether you will build up a surplus in the future and then look at whether you can get benefit from that future surplus.”Instead, he said, DB sponsors “just need to look at whatever the pension surplus or deficit is at the balance sheet date”.But this clarification, Narayan Peralta argued, runs the risk of creating accounting arbitrage between FRS102 and IAS19R/FRS101.“This is unfortunate, as, faced with the option between FRS101 and FRS102, there is now a ‘pensions arbitrage’ if an entity faces no other material differences between the standards,” he said.Choosing FRS102, he explained, “could leave them with a significantly better balance sheet position”.For IFRS reporters who recognise an additional liability under IAS19, Peralta went on, “there will be a GAAP difference to their statutory accounts”.The FRC has previously said one of FRS102’s objectives is to “have consistency with international accounting standards through the application of an IFRS-based solution unless an alternative clearly better meets the overriding objective”.Practice around the asset ceiling in pensions accounting has gained added urgency since May this year, when the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) began looking at the issue.Specifically, the committee is mulling changes to IFRIC14 that could restrict the size of the balance-sheet asset a DB sponsor is able to recognise on its balance sheet asset. A constituent has asked the committee to consider whether preparers should take account of events that might disrupt the plan unfolding in line with the IAS19 assumptions when they apply IFRIC 14.An example would be the trustees of a DB scheme whose future actions could reduce the ability of a sponsor to recognise an asset, even though they might have taken no steps to do so at the entity’s balance sheet date.Neil Crombie, a senior consultant with Towers Watson, said: “We are surprised by the FRC’s decision to adopt the approach it has with FRED55 in that we would probably have expected an approach more consistent with the direction of travel on IFRIC 14.”As for concerns about accounting arbitrage, he said although he agreed there was now potential for inconsistency between IFRS and FRS102, “any decision to go for UK GAAP over IFRS will come down to a lot more than just pensions”.Interested parties have until 21 November to comment on the proposals.If adopted, the amendments will be effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015. The UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued proposals for public comment it hopes will clarify how defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors will account under UK and Irish Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).In a statement, Roger Marshall, FRC board member and chairman of the FRC’s accounting council, said: “The proposed amendments are intended to resolve uncertainty over the application of FRS 102 in a proportionate and practical manner before FRS 102 becomes mandatory.”But expert practitioners who spoke to IPE.com about the move gave the proposals, referred to as FRED 55, a mixed reaction.In particular, KPMG director Narayan Peralta warned that the move risked accounting arbitrage between FRS102 and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).last_img read more

Private equity to woo DC pension funds, says Coller Capital survey

first_imgColler Capital’s latest quarterly Global Private Equity Barometer suggests the world’s limited partner (LP) community is almost unanimous in its expectation that defined contribution (DC) pension schemes will become a source of private equity capital over the next five years.The findings, based on the private equity secondaries specialist’s survey of 114 investors worldwide, also show growing enthusiasm for private equity in general, and buy-and-build and private credit in particular – despite some concern over what the exit environment for private assets might look like in 3-5 years’ time.Almost nine out of 10 investors see DC providing private equity capital within five years, with 27% of European LPs believing DC schemes will provide “significant” capital to the asset class.Stephen Ziff, a partner at Coller Capital, said: “The backdrop to the finding about DC assets going into private equity is one of more capital in general moving into alternatives, and private equity in particular. “But in addition there has been a shift in the pensions landscape over the past several years, and GPs are certainly looking for new sources of capital. The industry is slowly starting to get to grips with the challenges, to varying degrees – particularly features of DC investments like liquidity and daily pricing.”The survey hints at more big shifts in the way funds are raised for private firms. Responses suggest a big increase in the number of investors making direct investments or co-investments for more than 25% of their private equity assets within five years – going from 23% of respondents to 38%.Credit also looks set to grow in importance alongside equity in private asset portfolios, with 34% of LPs expecting to increase their allocation over the next 12 months.“Credit is still attracting capital, reflecting this continuing disintermediation of the banks,” said Ziff – a trend reflected in another survey finding, that 65% of investors expect collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) and high-yield bonds to provide a larger share of buyout debt financing in the next three years.Investors are focusing their attention on the middle ground of growth equity, at the expense of both large LBO and venture capital.Two-thirds of survey respondents expect buy-and-build to outperform other buyout investments over the coming cycle.LPs also think further enhancement of GP operational skills – a crucial capability for buy-and-build – has the greatest potential to boost returns, relative to greater specialisation, improved understanding of macroeconomic cycles, new fund structures or wider adoption of ESG principles.“LPs recognise that the buy-and-build approach will become increasingly prominent in an era when you can’t just rely on financial engineering,” Ziff said.Meanwhile, almost half of the LPs surveyed say venture capital is now “irrelevant” to the funding of early-stage innovation.Ziff suggested this is down to the rise of new sources of funding – including crowdfunding, corporate venture within the cash-rich tech sector, and second-generation entrepreneurs who are seeding their next business with proceeds from their first.“But in the venture world itself,” he added, “a number of funds have moved from pure venture into growth equity financing and buyout without there being a steady stream of replacements.”Ziff said the survey highlights the “continued resurgence” in private equity, revealing an LP community looking to increase their allocations over the next 12 months and expressing positive expectations for returns over the next 3-5 years – higher than they were for the same period two years ago.The contrast with hedge funds, where one-third of respondents plan to reduce allocations – ostensibly in the light of the divestment decision recently taken by CalPERS – is clear from the survey.“Private equity is generating performance in a low-yield environment,” said Ziff. “The one note of caution is that LPs do have an eye on the exit environment looking 3-5 years’ out.”Almost 40% of the respondents – 41% of which were based in Europe, while 45% represented pension funds or insurance companies – expect the next “major downturn” to occur within three years, while there is near-unanimity on a major downturn within five years.Fieldwork for the Barometer was undertaken for Coller Capital in September and October 2014 by Arbor Square Associates.last_img read more

Germany’s aba questions legality of EIOPA stress tests [updated]

first_imgThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has no legal mandate to conduct its forthcoming stress tests for pension funds and should be challenged, according to Germany’s pension association (aba).Heribert Karch, chairman at the aba, questioned why EIOPA was still proceeding with the stress test, with a consultation due on 11 May, even after the European Commission gave repeated assurances that it would not attempt to introduce regulations akin to Solvency II “through the back door”.Speaking at the association’s annual conference in Berlin, Karch argued that the shadow of former internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier, who stepped down last December and was replaced by Jonathan Hill as commissioner for financial stability, still loomed large over the pensions industry.“EIOPA has no legal basis for the new phase of stress tests,” he told delegates. “And, if that is true, and we all know how counter-productive the introduction of [a holistic balance sheet] regulation would be, then maybe we should re-examine the evidence. “The European Commission’s thoughts have moved on, and EIOPA continues, with a mandate it granted itself, the job begun by commissioner Barnier.“Ladies and gentleman, how can this be true? I have to ask: How long will we continue to put up with this?”Karch added that he was in “intensive talks” with his Dutch colleagues about the matter and drafting a letter to the German Federal Finance Ministry that would be co-signed by the German employers association BDA.The Dutch Pensions Federation confirmed it was holding talks with the aba on the matter.EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino has previously defended the stress tests, telling a conference organised by the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds that it would not copy the model applied to the insurance sector.At the time, he also emphasised that it was important for the regulator to assess how financial shocks are transmitted through the markets, something it cannot monitor at present.“We do not want to start the thinking with the opinion that big pension funds are systemically important – this is not our starting point,” Bernardino said.“We want to understand the market better and how the linkages are.”However, the European industry has taken a dim view of the project since it was confirmed last summer, warning of “new and unnecessary burdens” for pension funds.last_img read more

Friday people roundup [updated]

first_imgPLSA Brexit taskforce, Eversheds, JP Morgan Asset Management, PensionsEurope, Caisse des Dépots, Lyxor, Hargreaves LansdownPLSA Brexit taskforce – The UK Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has established a Brexit taskforce chaired by Joanne Segars, chief executive of the PLSA. The external members are Francois Barker, partner and head of the pensions group at Eversheds; Sorca Kelly-Scholte, head of EMEA Pensions Solutions & Advisory at JP Morgan Asset Management; Matti Leppälä, chief executive at PensionsEurope; and Alex Christie, strategic adviser at JP Morgan Asset Management. Segars said she convened the taskforce to ensure pensions were not “treated as an afterthought, in what happens post-Brexit”.Caisse des Dépots – Jean-Pierre Sicard has left France’s state-backed financial institution Caisse des Dépôts, where he was deputy director general of CDC Climat, the group’s arm dedicated to fighting climate change, until August 2015. He was president of Novethic, an ESG research and fund certification provider, until September 2016. Sicard is the founder of Novethic. He was the sustainable development director at Caisse des Dépôts from April 2004 to March 2009. He left the Caisse des Dépôts group earlier this month to pursue charitable activities and interests in the performing arts. I4CE (Institute for Climate Economics) was created in 2015 as the successor organisation to CDC Climat.Lyxor – Adam Laird has been appointed head of Northern Europe ETF strategy. He joins from Hargreaves Lansdown, where he held a variety of roles before specialising in and overseeing the company’s passive investment business.last_img read more

Newham pension fund tenders global high yield, private debt mandates

first_imgIt would prefer to hire one global manager but is willing to consider two managers, in which case one would be focused on the US market and the other on Europe.The fund should have a minimum size of £400m.The pension fund is looking for LIBOR plus 4-5%.Other criteria include absolute return in terms of target net internal rate of return (IRR) of 6-8%, an investment period horizon of 3-5 years, a buy-and-hold management style and a focus on senior debt.The contract is for five years.The global high-yield bond mandate is for around £60m, to be invested with one manager.As for the private corporate debt mandate, the pension fund does not want to hold more than 20% of a fund’s assets/commitments.The global high-yield bond fund should therefore be at least £240m.The tender document specifies that the pension fund would prefer a sterling “hedged share class” and an “accumulative” share class but would also consider a “distributive” share class.It will be up to the manager to choose the benchmark for the strategy, but the tender document states that it “will preferably be” a global high-yield bond index from either Bank of America Merrill Lynch or Barclays.The portfolio must be globally orientated and be able to invest in non-US-dollar-denominated bonds.Other criteria mentioned in the tender are that a maximum of 10% can be invested in investment-grade bonds, and up to 20% in triple-C rated bonds, while up to 20% of investments can be off-benchmark. The contract is for three years.Bfinance is conducting the tender on behalf of the pension fund. Its mandate tenders come shortly after the London Collective Investment Vehicle (CIV), which Newham pension fund helped found, announced that it was going to launch a multi-asset sub-fund in December and a range of UK and global equity mandates in the months thereafter. The £1bn (€1.2bn) pension fund for the London borough of Newham is tendering mandates for global high-yield bonds and private corporate debt for a total of around £170m, with the biggest allocation being to direct lending.IPE understands that this is the first time the local government pension scheme (LGPS) has allocated to these asset classes, with the search for higher yield a key driver of the move.Both mandates are for investment via a pooled fund vehicle, according to tender documents.The pension fund is looking to invest around £110m in private corporate debt.last_img read more

Norway rejects infrastructure allocation for sovereign fund

first_imgThe Norwegian government has once more rejected the idea of including unlisted infrastructure investments in the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).The country’s finance ministry has also said the NOK7.9bn (€861bn) sovereign wealth fund should not divest from oil and gas stocks, as it would not reduce the fund’s exposure to related risks.In a white paper on the management of the fund in 2016 – released at the end of last month and due to be voted on in parliament in May – the finance ministry also proposed increasing the strategic equity allocation of the fund to 70% from 62.5% currently, as it announced in February.Siv Jensen, minister of finance, said: “A higher equity share requires broad political consensus, as well as the ability to remain committed to the investment strategy, also when the fund fluctuates in value.” At the end of March, the fund reported an equity allocation of 64.6%, having risen from 62.5% at the end of December.“Divestment of the oil and gas equity holdings of the fund is a digression, and makes us no less vulnerable to a permanent decline in petroleum revenues.”- Siv Jensen, finance ministerYngve Slyngstad, chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) which manages the fund, said at the end of February that if allocation were increased to 70% in its the mandate, NBIM was unlikely to go on an immediate share-buying spree but would rather wait until it found a good moment to buy.Releasing the white paper, Jensen said the government was not proposing to allow the GPFG to make investments in unlisted infrastructure at this time.“Whether the Government Pension Fund Global should be permitted to invest in unlisted infrastructure investments is not a climate issue, but foremost a question of which risks the fund should be exposed to,” she said. “A transparent and politically endorsed sovereign fund like ours is not well suited to carry the particular risks posed by such investments, compared to other investors.”The ministry also rejected the idea that the GPFG should divest from oil and gas stocks.Jensen said that making the Norwegian economy less dependent on oil and more responsive to change had been one of the government’s main aims.“First and foremost, this requires a qualified labour force and a productive business sector,” she said. “Divestment of the oil and gas equity holdings of the fund is a digression, and makes us no less vulnerable to a permanent decline in petroleum revenues.”The ministry said it was also proposing that the fund’s mandate be amended to require Norges Bank’s executive board to approve each state issues government bonds, in addition to a requirement that it reports on procedures and systems for such approval.
It noted that in 2015, the Storting’s (parliament) Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs had requested guidelines to be considered for the GPFG as a tool in its assessment of financial risk.“The GPFG has a good framework for handling the financial risk associated with government bond investments,” Jensen said. “This is strengthened further by the proposed changes.”last_img read more

Austrian investors welcome EU’s sustainable investment proposals

first_imgSeveral delegates agreed this was a problem, as the definition of sustainable investment varied widely between EU member states.In Austria, for example, nuclear energy is an absolute no-go for ESG investors, while French investors consider it one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of producing power.Robert Haßler, co-founder of the Oekom Research rating agency, highlighted that “in the high-level preliminary group preparing the proposals, no Austrians or Germans were represented”. He argued that this advisory group “in a way mirrored the correlation of power of European institutional investors in the ESG market”, with France, UK, the Netherlands and Nordic countries at the forefront.Valida’s Sardelic welcomed proposals for more transparency for ESG investments, and the possible introduction of benchmarks. However, he warned the finance industry should observe carefully what would be required.“For me it is surprising that the financial industry is singled out in the paper and is asked to bear a lot of responsibility,” Sardelic said, adding that there were “contributions the financial industry can make” but it should not be asked to do so on its own.Taxes on aviation fuel and long-distance transport should also be discussed EU-wide in a sustainability context, he said.Franz Partsch, director of the treasury department at the Austrian national bank ÖNB, said it was important to get all stakeholders in the financial industry on board, including rating agencies, index providers, investors and managers.However, he also warned of too much new regulation, saying: “It would be sensible to create a wide European framework for reporting on ESG activities within which several market practices can evolve.”He also said it would make sense not to apply “a too euro-centric approach”, as ESG was a global issue.Sardelic argued that the EU’s proposals strongly focused on climate change and environmental protection, but sustainability “is about a lot more than the environment”.ESG investors moving away from exclusion approachesMeanwhile, the German sustainable investment association Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) has issued its annual ESG report covering Germany, Switzerland and Austria.For this year’s survey of 49 investors in the region, the definition of ESG investments was narrowed down leading to a slight drop in the number of assets invested under these criteria. The reported ESG assets fell from €242bn to just under €200bn.However, the researchers confirmed a general growth in ESG investments among institutional and retail clients.In all three countries the exclusion approach was losing its leading position among the ESG strategies used by investors, the report found. Investors have welcomed the European Commission’s proposals for a unified framework for ESG investments, but have warned of challenges to achieving a consensus.At an annual gathering in Vienna of institutional investors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, delegates discussed the commission’s sustainable finance proposals, published last month.Martin Sardelic, chairman of the board at Austria’s Valida Holding, said he was “surprised at the speed” with which the commission had finalised the proposals.“The paper contains a lot of sensible ideas, especially the common definition of standards, but the interesting question will be to see whether nuclear energy will be excluded or not as France is playing a major part,” he added.last_img read more

UK roundup: Cold-calling ban comes into force

first_imgJohn Glen, economic secretary to the UK treasury department, said: “Pension scammers are the lowest of the low. They rob savers of their hard-earned retirement and devastate lives. We know that cold-calling is the pension scammers’ main tactic, which is why we’ve made them illegal.”People who have received such calls should report the company to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Glen added. A government ban on companies making unsolicited phone calls about pension products has come into force from today.Firms found guilty of “cold calling” individuals could be fined up to £500,000 (€555,000) under the new law. The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has estimated that fraudsters stole an average of £91,000 per victim in 2018.FCA-authorised staff, pension managers and trustees are not affected by the ban. However, some experts have warned of the ban’s limitations. Alistair Wilson, head of retail platform strategy at Zurich, said: “Even with the protection of the law, consumers can’t afford to let down their guard as pension fraudsters are likely to evolve new tactics to sidestep the ban. Overseas calls are not covered by the clampdown, presenting a potential loophole for scammers operating from overseas.“For the ban to be effective, it needs to be backed by a vigorous and ongoing awareness raising campaign. This will help to hammer home the message to consumers that any call they receive about their pension out of the blue is a scam.”Local authority funds urge regulatory rethink on dataThe Local Government Pension Scheme’s (LGPS) Scheme Advisory Board has urged the Pensions Regulator not to bring formal action against local authority schemes that are lagging behind on data and administration improvements.In a letter sent to TPR late last year, advisory board chair Roger Phillips highlighted that LGPS staff were “often facing serious difficulty in fulfilling all their statutory responsibilities to the highest possible standard against financial constraints and stringent recruitment and retention policies”.TPR has been clamping down on data quality and record keeping in recent months, while LGPS funds have struggled to collect information from all affiliated employers. The London Borough of Barnet was fined £1,000 for failings in this area in 2017.However, Phillips urged TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb to “work jointly” with the LGPS “in communicating any lessons learnt from your engagement with a selected number of LGPS administering authorities to the scheme as a whole”.“We see this as an alternative to enforcement action against any of the selected funds that you consider to be non-compliant with your codes of practice,” Phillips added. “The board is clear that the threat of enforcement action would not be helpful in creating an environment where administering authorities can be fully open and willing to resolve any shortcomings identified by your casework teams.”last_img read more

PGGM’s consolidator vehicle targets closure by year-end

first_imgVolo client Jan Huysman Wz caters for former workers of cocoa producer ADMVan der Tas said Volo would not push to hit the deadline at any cost. “Duty of care is more important than speed, as we have agreed with our clients,” he said. “Which is possible, because Volo has a contract with PGGM until 1 January 2023.”The contracts of Ortec and Jan Huysman Wz with Volo also run until 2023. Both funds joined the APF at the start of last year.The individual schemes’ assets were ring-fenced so it was not necessary for both to go to the same APF, Van der Tas said, adding: “We [will] look at what is most suitable.”Volo is one of six Dutch APFs established in 2016, after this vehicle became legally possible. Once Volo is liquidated, however, just four will remain.Delta Lloyd’s APF also decided to terminate in October 2018 and handed over all its clients earlier this year to the Centraal Beheer APF. According to the latest figures, Volo APF manages €325m in assets.Food wholesaler eyes APF for €356m schemeThe pension fund of Dutch food wholesaler Sligro is likely to merge into an APF, it has announced. The move marks a reversal of a decision made in 2016 by the Sligro pension fund and employer to keep the scheme independent.A working group consisting of all decision-making parties – the board of directors, the pension fund’s board of trustees, the works council and the accountability body – expressed a preference for entering its own ring-fenced section within an APF, the Sligro scheme said on its website.A formal decision was likely to be taken in fourth quarter of 2019, according to the online statement, which in turn would lead to liquidation of the €356m pension fund during 2020.The Sligro scheme cited regulatory pressures and the availability of trustees as the main reasons for its reconsideration.Current fund chairman and Sligro CFO Rob van der Sluijs said he could not provide any further comment besides the information on the scheme’s website.The Sligro is responsible for the pensions of more than 10,000 members, of which 4,400 are active members. The fund had a funding level of 110% at the end of April. Volo APF, the Dutch general pension fund established by PGGM, is in advanced talks with other general funds for transferal of all its pension rights and members, according to chair of the board Johan van der Tas.Volo was set up by PGGM in 2016 as a consolidator vehicle of small Dutch pension schemes, but now plans to liquidate once the pension arrangements of its two clients have transferred out to a new provider. It aims to complete the transfer by 1 January 2020.The reason for Volo’s intended liquidation is that PGGM – Volo’s founder, asset manager and provider – has decided that the APF no longer fits into its strategy, as announced in October last year.The APF formally declared that it no longer had a future in December, Van der Tas said. Following this, a search to house all current clients started, which led to the decision that another APF would be the best solution. According to Van der Tas – who succeeded Erik Goris as chairman on 1 May – Volo was in advanced talks with other APFs in close consultation with its two clients, consultancy firm Ortec and Jan Huysman Wz, the closed fund for former employees of cocoa processor ADM.The APF has a responsibility for all accrued rights, but Ortec as an employer is responsible for new accruals. According to Van der Tas, the intention is to keep the existing and the new pension rights in one place. Jan Huysman Wz is a closed pension fund with the employer no longer being involved; in this case consultations will be held with the stakeholder body.last_img read more