EUROPE - AEGON and Citigroup will create a flexible investment platform they claimed was the first to use Dutch FGRs as a vehicle to pool cross-border pension funds.
The platform will effectively allow AEGON to break with many of its current restrictions on funding and investment strategy, and is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2007.
Once in place, the platform will enable AEGON to re-orientate its asset management business in order to more aggressively chase portable alpha and to seek more clients from the pan-European pensions industry.
AEGON described the platform as "the first solution to support the process and administrative needs of investors, institutions, asset managers and pension funds who operate in multiple jurisdictions throughout Europe".
It aims to cut through many of the laws and regulations that make investment across assets and countries difficult to impossible.
Bernard Hanratty, head of securities and fund services at Citigroup Dublin, said the platform "divorced the process of investment management, the buying and selling of securities, from the fiscal, regulatory and legal requirements of the entities whose money was being managed".
In other words, insurance assets can be pooled with pensions assets and mutual fund assets for investment purposes, he said.
Hanratty added that Aegon were "seeking to leverage a business that today uses pooling for Dutch pension funds alone and to internationalise that product so it could be used for cross-border pension pooling".