AEGON N.V. wants to reduce the level of investment risk in its U.S. variable annuity business and is looking for a buyer for its life reinsurance company, Transamerica Reinsurance.
AEGON, The Hague, Netherlands, is making the changes in an effort to cut costs and focus on the retirement and workplace savings markets, and to opportunities in markets such as Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Asia and Latin America, the company says. AEGON is still repaying a $2.4 billion bailout it received from the Dutch government in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.
AEGON has been the fourth biggest player in the U.S. individual term life market, the sixth biggest player in the U.S. universal life market, and the 12th biggest player in the U.S. variable annuity market, according to a presentation prepared by Mark Mullin and Darryl Button, two AEGOn executives in the Americas.
AEGON has made significant progress at implementing strategies such as merging U.S. broker-dealer operations, redesigning U.S. variable annuity products and implementing a macro equity hedge, Mullin and Button say in the presentation.
The company also been shifting its focus to fee-based products, from spread-based products, and, in the future, it hopes to expand cross-selling, deepen penetration in existing channels, and continue to work to maintain a balanced risk profile by taking steps such as reducing dependence on reserve financing, de-emphasizing the sale of fixed annuities, and increasing hedging on the VA back book, the executives say.