FRANCE/NETHERLANDS - La Mondiale, the French mutual life insurance and pensions company, and Dutch global life insurers Aegon have joined forces in a bid to seize a share of Europe's private pensions market.
The agreement will lead to Europe’s first specialised group pensions network. The plan includes setting up new operations in country’s where neither party has a presence. Currently, Aegon markets in The Netherlands and the UK; La Mondiale has it base in France.
“This alliance is based on the strong belief of both groups that the need for supplemental pension provision will be increasingly important in Europe. The two groups expect strong growth in this sector in the years to come,” said Aegon.
As part of the agreement La Mondiale will take a stake in the future European pension ventures of Aegon. And Aegon will take an initial 20% stake in La Mondiale Participations, the holding company under which the non-mutual activities of La Mondiale have been grouped.
Patrick Peugeot, chairman and chief executive officer of La Mondiale said: “The European pension market will experience a strong development. [This] agreement was reached because our two groups share the same values. Through this alliance we will be able to extend the range of services offered to our respective clients in a number of European countries.”
*The news follows an earlier announcement by Aegon UK chief executive David Henderson that the firm is to axe up to 600 jobs.
“This is a particularly challenging time for our industry with stock market pressures squeezing profit margins and a large number of regulatory reviews likely to have a significant influence on the way that financial services companies conduct business and sell products in the future. This is core to the financial model and vision for our business over the next few years,” he said.
Henderson added that a £100m investment in business technology should cut operating costs by 15% (£40m) by the end of 2003. He also outlined his intentions to propel the firm in to the top five players in the life and pensions industry over the next 5 years. Aegon UK, which has £32bn under management, currently ranks 9th in the UK in terms of new business generation.
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