Henkel International, the Dusseldorf-based brands and technologies company with 55,000 employees in 75 countries, has appointed BlackRock as its fiduciary manager.
The mandate covers €2bn of assets across five pension schemes: Germany, US, UK, Ireland and
the Netherlands. This landmark appointment is the first time the entire asset management of a
multinational company’s defined benefit (DB) assets has been outsourced to an external manager.
As fiduciary manager, BlackRock will be responsible for working with Henkel’s individual country schemes
to select and appoint internal and external managers. For each of the schemes the mandate is split into a
liability-matching portfolio consisting of cash, government bonds and swaps and a ‘return’ portfolio
consisting of credit, equities, private equity, hedge funds, infrastructure and commodities.
Matthew Fletcher, treasury manager at Henkel International who has responsibility for global pensions,
said: “Henkel’s main aim was to improve the internal corporate governance of its pension plans, to achieve an
oversight of the risk that individual plans are running and to create a structure that can match that risk
with the overall risk appetite of the sponsor. We have been working on this change to our pension
arrangements for many months.”