NETHERLANDS - Blue Sky Group, the fund manager for three KLM pension funds collectively worth more than €10bn, has lost fund manager Hidde Frequin just five months after he joined.

The firm, which also manages the €540m Lucent Technologies pension scheme, has yet to recruit a replacement amid tight domestic labour markets.

Chief investment officer Fons Lute told IPE Real Estate "there's always competition for good people" but added the firm did not intend to look outside the Netherlands.

"If we can satisfy the need within the Dutch labour market, we will," he said.

Despite a recent exodus of asset managers leaving pension schemes to join fund managers - including Frequin's predecessor Raymond Satumalaij, who resigned in March to join fund manager Bouwfonds - Lute was sanguine about the overall attrition, which he described as "relatively stable".

Karin van der Sluijs, director of continental European indirect investment at Goodman, said of Frequin's move: "He has the skillset for this business. He knows how to acquire and manage assets, and he understands the importance of alignment with the underlying managers."

Frequin's appointment comes mid-way through a recruitment drive to manage growth in its pan-European and global fund-of-funds and multi-manager businesses. The firm said it had gained new, indirect mandates worth €1bn over the past 18 months, primarily for European property but with strong growth in Asia. Among them is the Shropshire County Council pension fund, which recently mandated Goodman to help it shift out of UK real estate with a €63.7m pan-European real estate portfolio.

"If you'd have asked investors 12 months ago whether they were thinking about Asia, they weren't. Now they are," said van der Sluijs.

Its new hires will include one more fund manager for the European team early in 2008 and an Asian funds director. "We've spoken to a few people about the director role but we haven't made a decision," she said.

"Hiring at director level is always difficult," she said. "It's no easier in Europe."