Great surprise about the new position of ABP board member Snel
In addition to his job at the pension fund, ABP board member Menno Snel has taken on a new job as chairman of the NOGEPA, an association for the oil and gas industry. The FNV fraction in the ABP accountability body, where the AOb is part of, has serious objections. "We don't think this is possible and we simply disagree."
Last Friday, NOGEPA made known that Snel will be their new chairman. NOGEPA represents the interests of the thirteen oil and gas companies in the Netherlands that have a license for the extraction and exploration of natural gas.
In addition to this position, Snel will remain a board member at ABP pension fund, where he has been chairman of the investor committee since September 2020. All teaching staff are affiliated with this pension fund. 'I would like to contribute to the goals of the ABP,' said Snel at the time. 'Building a good and sustainable pension together for now and in the future.'
Menno Snel on his appointment at ABP: 'Building a good and sustainable pension together for now and in the future'
Conflict of Interest
De AOb, part of the FNV faction in the accountability body, believes that the new position creates a conflict of interest. AObChief driver Auke van Nie sits on behalf of the union in the accountability body of the pension fund and advises the ABP board in advance on policy and checks the board afterwards. Van Nie: “We think this is a wonderful combination and we want ABP to become 'greener'. And then this is an interest group for oil and gas. That does not fit the route we want to take. We are therefore very curious how the ABP board intends to unite this. This is because Snel is about the investments of the ABP. Actually, we just don't get it. ”
'We think this is a wonderful combination'
The unions already asked critical questions to the ABP board about ancillary positions in April. For example, they wanted to know what policy ABP applies when choosing additional positions. The pension fund then pointed to a code of conduct that states that a substantive assessment is always necessary when assessing ancillary positions and that it must not lead to conflicts of interest.
The unions are now asking the ABP again how the procedure for this specific position went. “We are concerned about ABP's image and the already growing criticism when it comes to sustainable investing,” says Van Nie. “This decision has an impact on that. We are curious how this has taken into account. ”
Quickly explains yourself in the press release of the NOGEPA that he wants to contribute to the energy supply of 'today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow'. The message shows that he wants to go green, but until then he thinks it is important to continue to produce natural gas.
From 2017 to the end of 2019, Snel was a member of the Rutte III cabinet on behalf of D66. He was then Secretary of State for Finance and was in the news because of the benefits affair.