Asset manager course

  • Opleiding

SPO IPE Asset Manager Course

Following a successful launch in The Hague in February, IPE, Europe’s leading provider of intelligence on European pensions and institutional investment, and SPO, the leading provider of pensions education in the Netherlands, are delighted to tell you about a new online learning opportunity for asset managers to acquire the knowledge and practical skills they need to succeed in the €1.4 trillion Dutch pension fund market. 

The relationship between IPE and SPO goes back many years and is based on the deep involvement of both organisations in the Dutch pensions market and the close relationship of trust in that market that they have built up over that time. IPE’s close relationship with many of the world’s most important asset managers gives them a simple and familiar route to access SPO’s best-in-class training.

Who should attend

Fully consistent with the IPE and SPO brands, this new training initiative is founded on excellence and is intended for:

  • C-level executives
  • Senior commercial personnel, including heads of:
    • business development
    • sales
    • distribution
    • client management
    • compliance/risk

Academic staff

SPO has assembled some of the leading experts in all areas of the Dutch pensions industry to teach the various modules of the SPO IPE Asset Manager Course. 


SPO’s mantra is pension education with perspective. This perspective is multi-faceted, seeking the input of employers, boards, supervisors, administrative services, asset managers, consultants and, last but not least, the participants, the end-users and object of this proposition. A mix of teaching materials and technology makes SPO’s training courses more efficient and effective for course participants, clients and tutors. The SPO programme is:

  • Practical and application-oriented. The courses build on existing knowledge, both by using recognisable, current practical examples and by involving the students’ own work practice in the study programs. Theory is linked to practical case studies, so that the knowledge gained can be applied directly to the workplace.
  • Interactive. Knowledge only really sticks when it is created through collaboration and in interaction with other students, tutors and content experts from SPO.
  • Assessment-based. Assessment forms an integral part of SPO training courses. The learning objectives of the courses are in line with the professional profiles in the pension sector. SPO’s guarantee this with independent examinations and other instruments to test knowledge and practical competence.
  • Flexible and accommodating. Since not everyone learns in the same way, SPO provides a varied learning environment. With sensory-rich work forms, the use of multiple learning places and looking through someone else’s eyes, SPO responds to this diversity.

The SPO IPE Training Course for Asset Managers is split into five modules

Module A – Introduction to the Dutch pension fund sector
  • The Dutch pensions landscape
  • Types of pension funds
  • Legislation (contract, pension law en tax)
  • Governance of pension funds
  • Challenges for Dutch pension funds

Module B – Regulatory framework of pension funds and asset managers

This module includes two hours of independent online group work on a business case. This will be followed by a class with online group presentations of the prepared business cases.  

  • Transparency requirements
  • New required solvency (VEV) and solvency requirements.
  • FTK: Financial Assessment Framework (FTK) and risk framework of Dutch Central Bank
  • Prudent person requirements
  • Outsourcing
  • Reporting requirements
  • Accounting rules
  • Valuation of liabilities
  • Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and communication
  • covering:
    • Pension fund costs
    • Communication with members
  • Ethical requirements for trustees and asset managers.
  • Typical portfolios, investment management and investment policy
  • Risk management
  • ESG, SRI and SDG policies
Module C – Trends and developments
  • Current Challenges
  • Coverage ratio
  • Demographic pressure
  • Support for the system
  • Longevity
  • Cost reduction

Module D – Establishing a relationship
  • Culture and approaches: what makes the Dutch tick?
  • Internal points of entry
  • External points of entry
  • The risk of a relation
  • Fees, costs and supervision
  • Understanding the client
Module E – Simulation and roleplay: theory and practice coming together
  • DNB regulation states that risk is the top first priority for Dutch pension funds, especially risk from the point of view of the DNB. Return is of much less importance
  • The asset manager should stick to the mandate. In particular, it should not hold unmandated cash or stray from the risk framework; it should understand that from the perspective of the Dutch pension fund, changes in liquidity represent a change in risk
  • Management fees are a risk, according to the AFM
  • Understand the client’s goals holistically and do not second-guess the client


Previous participants enthusiastically share their experiences.

The course was a very good introduction to the Dutch market. The combination of theory and practical exercises was very useful.

Overall I am very pleased with the course – It was a really good update. I came away with a much better understanding about the Dutch market; for example, the course helped me get fully up to speed on the regulatory environment. If courses were offered for the German and Swiss markets I would certainly want to attend those as well.

The teaching staff were very knowledgeable and those with active roles at pension funds gave excellent live examples, which were very beneficial.