NETHERLANDS/ASIA - Dutch life insurance and pension company Aegon is to reorganise its loss-making operations in Asia to benefit more from high growth prospects in the region.
Chief executive Alex Wynaendts said the firm would combine its Asia businesses with new headquarters in Hong Kong, making the operations "better placed to grow organically". Most of its operations in the region have previously been managed from the US.
Douglas Henck, who previously held several positions in Asia at American International Group and Sun Life Financial, will be chief executive of the new unit, the company said.
Aegon is currently restructuring its UK business and last week announced plans to cut 5% of its US workforce over the next two years. (Global Pensions: 02 December 2010). Wynaendts will set out the restructuring plans in greater detail at an Aegeon investor conference in New York later today.
"We are making solid progress towards our ambition of securing a leadership position for Aegon in all of our chosen markets in the coming five years," said Wynaendts. "The steps we are taking are aimed at sharpening our focus on the clear opportunities for our core business, implementing significant cost efficiencies in the United States, Europe and in Asia for the benefit of our customers, business partners and shareholders.
"This is a unique time for our business given the trends in almost every market which make clear the increasing need for individuals to take responsibility for their long-term financial security. We are determined to make the most of the significant opportunities from a position of strength, operational excellence and recognised expertise."
The top stories this week were the High Court's decision to block the £12bn annuity transfer from Prudential to Rothesay Life, and a separate court ruling that 'raises the bar' for pension rectification exercises.
Guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) equalisation has soared to the top of pension schemes' to-do lists, with 58% stating it is a priority project, research from Equiniti has revealed.
Professional Pensions is holding its defined contribution (DC) conference on 4 September.