EUROPE - The €111bn Dutch asset manager PGGM has entered into a partnership with the DKK160bn (€21.5bn) Danish pension fund service provider PKA to exchange knowledge on the Danish market and other areas, including investments.

The two asset managers, which both serve pension funds with members in the health and social sectors, will develop common projects on membership involvement, deepen research and fact-finding on risk management and create joint investment opportunities and benchmark selection.

PGGM and PKA will also share socially responsible investment benchmark methodology and cooperate on the benchmarking of costs and cost transparency.

Martin van Rijn, chief executive at PGGM, told IPE the Dutch asset manager and PKA decided to team up because they shared similar interests and operated in a similar market.

"The Danish pension sector is a serious and full-grown market," he said. "To operate there, a great deal of experience and knowledge are required. There are not many pension fund providers in other countries with the experience and knowledge of PKA."

PGGM and PKA have both invested in similar projects in the past, including offshore wind farms through DONG Energy.

In 2010, PGGM entered into a consortium with Ampere Equity Fund to acquire a 24.8% stake in the Walney offshore wind farms project in the UK, constructed by DONG Energy.

Last year, PKA also entered into a consortium with another Danish pension fund, PensionDanmark, to acquire 50% of the Anholt offshore wind farm in Denmark.

The consortium, which signed an agreement with DONG Energy, saw PensionDanmark taking a 30% interest in the project, while PKA acquired a 20% stake.

Van Rijn went on to say that PGGM and PKA would start by getting to know each other better and compare their respective organisations before exploring opportunities in the Danish market and elsewhere.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at PKA, added: "We have seen that we share many of the same core values and objectives regarding the development of pension fund administration, and PKA is looking very much forward to learn from a major service provider like PGGM, which in many ways operates in the same pension environment as we do."

Van Rijn said PGGM would seek to team up with other pension fund providers in future, as long as the potential partner shared the same goals, profile and core values and operated in a similar market.