ZEIST, the Netherlands — New chief investment officers will be signing on at the Netherlands' two largest and most influential pension plans in March.
Market sources say Roderick Munsters, incoming director of investments at the €168 billion ($219 billion) Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, Heerlen, and former CIO for the €59.9 billion PGGM, Zeist, will likely be a much needed breath of fresh air at the Dutch behemoth.
Mr. Munsters — who will replace Jean Frijns, who is to retire in April — is considered a hands-on investor with a sharp eye on new investment strategies. Else Bos, the newly appointed head of investments at PGGM, is more of an unknown quantity, however.
Many industry observers have welcomed Mr. Munsters' appointment to the top slot at ABP. One money manager for a U.S. based firm — who did not wish to be identified — went so far as to say Mr. Munsters would give ABP a "much-needed kick up the arse."
Mr. Munsters will probably accelerate ABP's program of allocating assets to alternative investments, said one locally based marketer working for a U.S.-based money manager, who also declined to be identified. According to the latest annual report for 2003, ABP has committed up to 19% of total assets in alternatives; ABP spokesman Michel Meijs said the plan is close to its strategic targets.