€2.2bn Scheme Tightens Manager Constraints After Regulatory Intervention

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The €2.2bn Pensioenfonds Atos has limited the leeway granted to third-party asset managers when implementing its investment policy, following an intervention from regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

In its annual report for 2018, the scheme said DNB had demanded insight into its investment choices, more detailed calculations for stress testing, and tighter constraints on asset managers.

The watchdog also ordered Atos to consult its accountability body (VO) about the scheme’s risk attitude. The VO consists of employee and pensioner representatives and is meant to hold a scheme’s supervisory board to account.

In the annual report, the board said that DNB’s additional demands had put pressure on the pension fund’s operational functioning, resulting in the board failing to consult the VO in time.

In addition, as a consequence of the regulator’s instruction, it had decided to restrict the asset managers’ freedom to invest. “They won’t be able to quickly and extensively reduce risk in their mandates now,” the pension fund said.

DNB

De Nederlandsche Bank’s headquarters in Amsterdam

Almost 72% of its assets are managed by BlackRock. The remainder is run by GMO.

At June-end, funding of Atos stood at 104.8%.

The closed pension fund also said it wanted to continue independently until at least 2023, when the contract for pensions provision with Achmea Pensioenservices was due to expire.

Last year, Pensioenfonds Atos made headlines when it fired two members of its VO for undisclosed reasons.