PGGM appoints chairman as new CEO

Just months into his tenure as chairman of the supervisory board, Edwin Velzel has been asked to take over from outgoing chief executive Else Bos.

Dutch pension fund manager PGGM has appointed Edwin Velzel as its new chief executive, only five months after he joined as chairman of its supervisory board.

Velzel will assume his new role at the €206 billion manager at the beginning of next month, replacing Else Bos, who announced her departure in May. Bos is set to become executive director and chair for prudential supervision at De Nederlandsche Bank in July next year.

Velzel became chairman of the board shortly before Bos’s decision to leave PGGM, but the fund manager said he was asked by other members to put himself forward for the role, despite “still familiarising himself with his new position” at the time, PGGM said. Velzel was subsequently removed from the appointments committee and unanimously became the preferred candidate ahead of other external choices.

His career has been largely based in healthcare management and the insurance industry, including nearly six years as chief executive of Dutch non-profit insurer Unive. Wim de Weijer, who has taken over from Velzel as acting chairman of the board, said he “has a clear vision of the major challenges facing the pension fund service provider”.

PGGM manages about €7.5 billion of infrastructure assets and made another internal hire last November, promoting Erik van de Brake from senior infrastructure investment manager to head of infrastructure. Last month it emerged PGGM and Mirova had agreed a joint investment in a series of PPP projects in Spain, comprising toll roads, court houses and rail links. The Dutch investor also last month registered its interest in a social housing PPP in Ireland as part of its joint venture with compatriot construction group BAM, competing against Aberdeen Asset Management, Macquarie and Equitix.