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(ontvangen bij de nominatie voor de Decade of Distinction Award)

Aart-Jan de Geus - January 5, 2011

  • Former Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment

I know Anton Van Nunen as an excellent academic, advisor and author (triple A ;-) ) in pension matters. During the time I was Minister of Social Affairs and Employment in The Netherlands (2002 – 2007) our paths crossed in several high level events and with great interest I read his analysis and recommendations in books and articles. He was among the first to criticize rightly the rulings for pensions that were not solid in times of great volatility of asset prices. Since 2007 I am Deputy Secretary General in OECD, holding the portfolio of Social Affairs, Employment, Pensions, Health, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance and Gender. In this context we continued our relationship; we met in international events and exchanged views from time to time. Mr. Van Nunen is a highly estimated interlocutor for our OECD experts on Pensions. He is bright, fully independent, productive and moreover a nice person, very effective in his communications.

Prof. Dr. Ad Kolnaar - January 1, 2011

  • Emeritus Professor Economics at Tilburg University
  • Long-time crown member of the Social-Economic Council (SER, advisory board to the Dutch government)
  • Member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR, advisory board to the Dutch government on long term economic policy) in the seventies

After a career as an assistant-professor and earning his Ph. D under my supervision at Tilburg University, Anton van Nunen set up the research department for Rabobank International. His second assignment in the financial sector was at Interpolis Insurance company where, as the CIO, he restructured the overall investment portfolio. After setting up his own advisory company, he advises domestic and foreign institutional investors. As a man of science, I especially appreciate the fact that he succeeded in combining the management of a one-man shop in a turbulent sector with writing a solid book. His Fiduciary Management has proven to be an important guide for pension funds and insurance companies in many countries. Having advised several Dutch governments on, among others, pension issues, I strongly endorse his efforts to change present ruling. It strikes me that he, as a loner, challenged regulatory authorities while the whole Dutch pension sector lacked this courage. I suspect that this independent approach finds its origins in the creative, scientifically oriented environment at our university. Anton is familiar with the pension industry and his contributions are creative and scientifically correct. His ideas deserve to become part of the new regulation. To a large extent they represent my own ideas on a sustainable pension industry. Being an expert in the pension field with both national and international recognition, I strongly recommend him for the honours of your award.

Liam Kennedy - January 6, 2011

  • Editor, Investment & Pensions Europe
  • Director, IPE International Publishers Ltd.

At IPE, we recognize the Netherlands as a global centre of excellence in pension management. Few individuals epitomize this excellence better than Dr. Anton van Nunen. Dr. Van Nunen is a tireless advocate of better pension fund management and is universally recognized as the father of fiduciary management in the Netherlands and internationally. As such, he developed a truly novel concept that encapsulated risk and asset management, and which challenged the asset management industry to work for pension funds in a way that was truly innovative. Fiduciary management has also challenged pension funds to rethink received wisdom, and consultants to rethink their business models. Dr. Van Nunen is also a tireless advocate of good pension regulation. Here, he has not fought shy of criticizing the Dutch regulator where others have been afraid to speak publicly. In this he has spoken for many and has been a welcome voice of reason. IPE values Dr. Van Nunen as an insightful, thoughtful and sometimes provocative contributor. In November 2009, readers of IPE recognized Dr. Van Nunen’s many contributions to the world of pension fund management in choosing him to receive our award for Outstanding Industry Contribution. I thoroughly commend Dr. Van Nunen for Global Pensions’ Decade of Distinction Award.

Mario Catalán - January 7, 2011

  • Economist at International Monetary Fund

I am pleased to endorse the nomination of Mr. Anton van Nunen for the Global Pensions Decade of Distinction Award. Anton had an outstanding professional and academic career in the Pensions and Insurance fields. After reviewing his outstanding contributions over the last decade, I am convinced that he deserves this prestigious award. I would like to highlight what I believe is Anton’s main contribution in the last decade: the formulation of the fiduciary management concept, which is developed extensively in his book Fiduciary Management: Blueprint for Pension Fund Excellence. Based on his long experience in executive and advisory positions in the industry, Anton presents lessons on how to organize the management of institutional investors’ portfolios. The book seeks to improve the governance of pension funds and the knowledge of professionals with fiduciary management responsibilities.

The importance of this timely and relevant book cannot be over-stressed. In an aging world that is also in economic crisis, the retirement income of broad segments of population is at risk and compromised by fiscal constraints. Allocating and managing pension funds wisely is more important than ever, and Anton’s book presents the “state of knowledge” to guide practitioners.

Also, pension funds and other institutional investors have become the largest owners of publicly traded companies in the world. This means that the quality of management and the governance of pension funds can have crucial, first-order effects on the global allocation of capital. In this regard, the contribution of Mr. van Nunen is also timely and highly relevant.

Other contributions by Mr. van Nunen are equally impressive. He was instrumental in the successful mergers of insurance and asset management companies. He assisted the first cross-border merger of pension funds for Swedish SCA concern. He also assumed responsibilities as a manager of pension funds, including the Dutch Doctors’ Pension Fund in 2005, and the pension fund for the Dutch printing industry in 2006-07. Finally, in the years 2009-10, he participated as an invited speaker in more than 50 events, which provides further evidence of his impact and influence.

For all these reasons, I support without reservation the nomination of Mr. Anton van Nunen for the award. Please feel welcome to contact me if you have any further questions. I can be reached by email at or by phone (202) 623-4372.

Gerrit Zalm - January 11, 2011

  • Chairman of ABN AMRO
  • Former Dutch Minister of Finance

Anton van Nunen is an intelligent person with a deep knowledge of the pension sector and therefore an excellent consultant in the pensions industry.

He wrote a book on Fiduciary Management which was published in 2007. He offered me the first copy. This publication has interesting findings on pension fund management, and also interesting information for pension funds who cope with the problems of outsourcing. The book has been translated in several languages. Furthermore he has written numerous articles for dedicated magazines and regularly publishes in Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. Anton was the first to criticize the approach of the Dutch pension regulatory framework. The OECD took over his ideas in its official publication and suggested the Dutch regulator should follow them.

He is one of the opinion leaders in this industry. Anton deserves to be honoured with the Global Pensions Decade of Distinction Award.

Dr. Con Keating - January 13, 2011

  • Head of research for the pensions indemnity assurer Brighton Rock Group
  • Principal of The Finance Development Centre Ltd., London

I have been privileged to have known Anton for the past decade. He is one of the few individuals who have had influence upon the pensions scheme in more than one country; this is a considerable achievement in its own right given the technical differences that arise as we cross frontiers. He possesses a unique collection of skills; a balanced concern for both theoretical and practical issues. In a world where there are so many stakeholders, this is a very rare gift. His introduction and promotion of fiduciary management for pension schemes is a specific case in point; its success and suitability can be judged from the number of subsequent imitations and failing attempts to reinvent it. While fiduciary management alone probably justifies his selection as personality of the decade, his ability and willingness to communicate complex ideas in simple and accessible form to audiences of widely varying knowledge and ability makes him the perfect candidate and representative of the industry.

Prof. Dr. Jean Frijns - December 31, 2010

  • Professor Investments at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Former CIO of pension fund ABP
  • Chairman of the Dutch governmental commission on the future of pension funds

Anton van Nunen is an independent consultant in the pensions industry. He has a professional training in economics (including a PhD in macroeconomics) and has worked as an economist and later as chief investment officer in the financial sector (Rabobank and Interpolis). He is an original and creative thinker with a deep knowledge of the pension sector. He wrote a book on Fiduciary Management which was published in 2007 and immediately was welcomed as the missing link in pension fund management. It can be seen as a policy bible for pension funds who cope with the problems of outsourcing. The book has since 2007 been translated in several languages (including in Japanese). Furthermore he has taken a strong position on accounting rules for pension funds which in his view are dysfunctional and are at variance with the economic function of pension funds. His ideas on starting with the economic functions and then rewrite the pension contract are now taken hold in the policy discussions for a new pension contract in the Netherlands. Anton is an outstanding expert in his field with a broad national and international network. He belongs very much to the small group of opinion leaders in this industry. If anyone, he deserves to be honoured with the Global Pensions Decade of Distinction Award.