Edinburgh financial giant Aegon UK hails £200 billion assets milestone

Aegon UK is a major Edinburgh employer with more than 2,000 people in the city. Picture: Greg MacveanAegon UK is a major Edinburgh employer with more than 2,000 people in the city. Picture: Greg Macvean
Aegon UK is a major Edinburgh employer with more than 2,000 people in the city. Picture: Greg Macvean
Aegon UK, the Edinburgh-based financial provider, has seen assets under administration top £200 billion for the first time, as it continues to increase scale in the pension and savings market.

The firm said the growth reflected strong markets and a number of ongoing investments in the business.

News of the assets milestone came as the Dutch-owned group released second-quarter results revealing an operating profit of £38 million at its UK business, up 16 per cent from a year earlier.

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Higher fee revenues from the growth of the group’s platform business and favourable equity markets, along with lower expenses, more than offset the impacts from the loss of earnings due to the sale of the Stonebridge business and a gradual run-off of the traditional product portfolio, Aegon noted.

The latest results showed that net deposits amounted to £1.5 billion, down from some £2bn in the second quarter of 2020.

Net deposits in the firm’s workplace pensions business amounted to £1.1bn, almost doubling up on the figure recorded in the same period a year earlier.

Net deposits for the institutional business fell to £879m from £1.5bn in the same period last year. The institutional business is low-margin and deposits can be “lumpy”, Aegon stressed.

Mike Holliday-Williams, chief executive of Aegon UK, said the firm had achieved a “significant milestone” with the assets under administration following a good quarter.

The group has more than 2,000 people in Edinburgh and he praised the efforts of staff having to work remotely during lockdown.

Workers are “slowly coming back to the office”, he noted, with “smart working” pilots being rolled out later this year based on a blend of office and home-based environments.

“We are always in recruitment mode, particularly with regards to digital,” Holliday-Williams added.

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Aegon group chief executive Lard Friese said: “I am encouraged by the steady progress we have made on our strategic and financial transformation in the second quarter of 2021. Economic recovery – aided by increased vaccination rates – supported our results.

“I would like to thank our 22,000 employees who, in the face of an ongoing pandemic and change, followed through on our strategic and operational plans in the second quarter.”

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