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Dutch pension funds plough more capital into impact funds 

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Published: 29 March 2022

Pensioenfonds Detailhandel and Pensioenfonds PostNL are among the growing list of Dutch pension funds increasing exposure to impact investments, allocating €100m and €400m, respectively, to SDG-aligned strategies

Pensioenfonds PostNL is investing €400 in two equity impact funds | ANP / Hollandse Hoogte / Harold Versteeg

Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, the Dutch pension fund for the retail sector, has made a new move into impact investments, selecting asset manager Tikehau Capital to manage a €100 million impact private debt mandate.

The mandate will be managed as part as Tikehau’s impact lending strategy, launched in 2020, which mainly invests in SMEs which contribute to the sustainable economic transition through either their product offering, resource management, or processes.  

Pensioenfonds Detailhandel’s mandate is aligned with three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely SDG 8, 12 and 13, related to ‘decent work’, ‘responsible consumption & production’ and ‘climate action’, respectively. 

With 1.3 million participants and total assets worth EUR 37 billion, Pensioenfonds Detailhandel is one of the larger pension funds in the Netherlands. This latest mandate award is part of the scheme’s wider strategy to allocate around 1% of total assets to three managers in the impact investment space.  

Last month, it announced another €100 million commitment as cornerstone investor of the new Polestar Capital Circular Debt Fund, which provides loans to Dutch circular economy projects, as reported by Impact Investor. A third mandate with a focus on emerging market is expected to be announced shortly.

Henk Groot, head of investments at Pensioendfonds Detailhandel, said about the new mandate: “Investing our capital with a socially responsible approach, whilst generating long term value is central to our investment principles and decision-making.” He added that Tikehau’s impact investing credentials and in-depth understanding of the European market was “fully aligned” with their objectives.


Also last week, Pensionfonds PostNL said it was investing €400m in two new impact equity funds, in line with its strategy to increase exposure to SDG-aligned investments.  

The two new funds will be managed by external managers M&G Investments and Hermes on behalf of Kempen, PostNL’s fiduciary manager.  

“With these two sustainable funds, we offer our clients a solution for achieving targeted impact through listed equities,” noted Wilse Graveland, head of fiduciary management and institutional solutions at Kempen.

Earlier this year, Dutch pension provider APG announced a $750 million (€680bn) investment on behalf of pension fund clients ABP and bpfBOUW, in a SDG-focused private credit strategy managed by ILX Management.

According to a report by the Netherlands Advisory Board on impact investing published yesterday, pension funds are the biggest impact investors in the country, with €76 billion pension assets invested in impact-driven strategies.

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