NETHERLANDS - Dutch insurance giant Aegon Nederland is eyeing further European acquisitions as it targets the larger pension fund administration market.
A spokeswoman for Aegon said that managers were due to meet in February to start preliminary talks on Aegon’s European direction, although individual markets have not yet been identified. It is hoped that the strategy, if it goes ahead, will take off in the next two to five years.
This week Aegon sealed it entry into the pensions administration market by acquiring TPG KPN Pensioen (TKP) for an undisclosed sum.
The firm began exclusive talks with Groningen-based TKP - the pensions administration arm set up Dutch telecoms company KPN and postal service TPG in 1998 - back in November. Its activities consist of pension administration, asset management and legal, tax, actuarial and investment consulting.
TKP currently administers six pension funds including those of KPN and TPG and the Stichting Postkantoren-Bruna Pensioenfonds.
Under the deal, the newly named TKP Pensioen will continue to serve the funds which have a combined value of E6bn and some 146,000 members. Jobs will also remain unaffected.
In an earlier statement , Jan Overmeer, member of the Board of Aegon Nederland, said: “This acquisition will provide us with immediate access to a market that is new for Aegon (The Netherlands) - of larger pension funds.”
Corporate pension funds in the Netherlands have come under increasing pressure from the Dutch regulator, the PVK, to bulk up funding levels following controversial new guidelines. This has left many pension funds eager to outsource operational activities.
Overmeer continued: “We wish to retain TKP’s know-how in Groningen. And we want to expand its specific expertise further in order, in due course, to become a player in this field in Europe where Aegon has shown itself to be very successful in other markets.”
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.