LONDON — Two major multinational companies with operations across Europe are accelerating programs aimed at shaving costs by pooling asset management mandates of disparate regional pension funds.
Patrick Scheuer, pension fund managing director at IBM Corp. SA, Brussels, said his firm is looking to expand a program launched last year in which the 11 different European IBM pension schemes, with a combined $22 billion in assets, invest into a single Ireland-domiciled trust for global bonds, instead of each scheme appointing their own managers.
The other company looking at its money manager arrangements across its various Europewide pension schemes is Bosch AG, Stuttgart.
Bernhard Wiesner, head of corporate pensions and benefits at Bosch, said the company initially wants to implement a pooled strategy in the United Kingdom, where is has two pension schemes. Klaus Oswald, human resources manager at Robert Bosch Ltd. Retirement Schemes, Denham, England, did not return telephone calls seeking further information about the schemes.
Mr. Wiesner said the German industrial tools and automotive components group will eventually introduce either a pooling or preferred manager arrangement that would see common managers being appointed at all European schemes. He said money managers at the U.K. schemes were likely to be brought into a new pooling arrangement in the next year. The continental schemes could follow as soon as a year after that, he said.