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NHG opts for Robeco, a.s.r. vermogensbeheer and KAS BANK - NHG shifts its investment strategy from advice to sustainable management

Rotterdam, 31 May 2018 – As of 1 June, NHG will be outsourcing its asset management activities to a.s.r. vermogensbeheer and Robeco. This means NHG is shifting its investment strategy from an advisory relationship to a management relationship with institutional asset managers. KAS BANK has been selected as securities depositary bank and administrator.

NHG only invests in bonds from first-class debtors. Both asset managers will now have combined invested capital of around EUR 1 billion. The investment policy remains focused on maintaining solvency and on excellent risk management. A new requirement being added is sustainability by exercising control of ESG criteria. These are guidelines that cover Environment, Social and Governance aspects (ESG). The asset managers are constantly weighing the ESG criteria in the management of NHG's investment portfolios.

"With the outsourcing of asset management to these two institutional specialists, our portfolio gains optimum attention", explains Arjen Gielen, CEO of NHG regarding the decision to opt for the new suppliers. "This enables us to respond in the best way to future interest-rate scenarios and developments on the housing market, keeping our fund solvent and ensuring an affordable premium for the client and securing a buffer in hard times."

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An eye to future obligations

As a subsidiary of an insurer, a.s.r. vermogensbeheer naturally focuses closely on future obligations in its investment policy. This was decisive for the choice for a.s.r. vermogensbeheer, as the investments of NHG are also intended to meet future claims payments.

Credit analysis

Robeco is well-known for its outstanding management and analyses of bond portfolios, including buy & maintain strategies. This aspect was determinative for the choice for Robeco. Victor Verberk, co-head of the Credit team and member of the Executive Committee of Robeco: "Robeco is a leading player in the field of fixed income markets with a stable and experienced team of more than 40 investment professionals and managed capital in fixed income markets of more than EUR 40 billion, including around EUR 8 billion in buy & maintain strategies. Moreover, sustainable investment is something that we already saw the potential of in the ’90s. We are delighted to combine these two core competencies of Robeco and look forward to a close collaboration."

Sikko van Katwijk, chair of the KAS BANK Board of Directors, is also delighted with the collaboration: "KAS BANK has stood for stable securities custodianship for more than 200 years. With the consolidated investment reports, we give NHG independent portfolio control and enhanced governance.”

About NHG

In 1993, the Homeownership Guarantee Fund (Waarborgfonds Eigen Woningen) was founded by the former Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) and the VNG to provide as many people as possible access to responsible financing for the purchase, improvement and retention of their own home. Through bespoke and smart solutions, NHG has been offering responsible solutions to the mortgage market for 25 years.

Because of this, since the fund's founding, some 1.5 million households have benefited from a suitable mortgage solution, many people with payment problems can stay in their home, and around 26,000 losses have been absorbed. NHG is continually looking for bottlenecks in the housing market, examining new solutions where necessary to realize a healthy housing market. From making homes more sustainable and expanding the options of senior citizens for moving house, to creating financing solutions in an increasingly flexible labor market.