PGGM’s investment chief van der Ende exits unexpectedly

Surprise exit from €99bn responsible investment leader

Johan van der Ende, the Chief Investment Officer of PGGM Investments, the Dutch pension fund manager, is to leave unexpectedly with no permanent replacement in place.

PGGM said in a statement that he will leave “by mutual agreement” on November 1 after two years in the role. He will be succeeded on a temporary basis by Chief Financial and Risk Officer Jac. Kragt, who has been with PGGM since 2008.

PGGM, one of the first signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, is one of the most prominent responsible investors in the world. It has a responsible equity portfolio planned to grow to €2.2bn this year; it has made headlines for its exclusion of the likes of mining firm Vedanta Resources.

Just last week, for example, van der Ende was involved in a plea by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) on climate change regulation to the European Union.
Van der Ende had proposed limiting the number of PGGM’s investments, in a bid to understand andengage with its investee companies better. A new structure was expected to be in place by January 2011.
“It has become clear in recent months that the mutual expectations within the Executive Committee would impede successful co-operation,” it said. Spokesman David Uitdenbogaard said he couldn’t be more specific – but added the fund is happy with van der Ende’s investment performance.

Van der Ende has been at Zeist-based PGGM since mid-2006, initially as CIO of Strategy & Structured Investments. He became a member of the newly Executive Committee on 1 January 2010.

“Taking the financial crisis into account, PGGM has achieved good investment results under Johan’s leadership, and he has made a vital contribution to the expansion and professionalisation of PGGM Investments,” said CEO Martin van Rijn.

“In the midst of a major financial crisis we have succeeded in expanding the asset management function and turning it into a multi-client environment,” van der Ende said in the statement.