Dutch life insurance giant AEGON has truly gone global. The company is using its expertise in acquisition (US rival Transamerica was its largest catch) and consolidation to build a transnational collection of financial service businesses serving 40 million customers worldwide. Its subsidiaries operate primarily in the US, the Netherlands, and the UK, offering personal and commercial life insurance, pensions and annuities, and accident and supplemental health insurance, as well as retirement and savings advice and management services. AEGON has insurance operations in 25 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, as well as banking operations in the Netherlands.
The group operates in five segments: Aegon Americas (which includes business units in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Mexico); Aegon the Netherlands; Aegon UK; New Markets (Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Spain, France, as well as variable annuity activities in Europe and asset management); and Holding (financing, employee relations, and other administrative expenses).
Asset management operations include equity and fixed-income and cover Aegon's insurance subsidiaries as well as third-party clients and insurance-linked products.
Aegon's primary operations are in the Netherlands, the US, and the UK. In Central and Eastern Europe, it operates in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, and the Ukraine. The group also operates in Hong Kong, Ireland, and Spain. Through a distribution agreement with Santander, Aegon sells its products in Portugal.
The group also has joint ventures in Brazil, China, France, India, Japan, and Mexico.
Sales and Marketing
Marketing arm Aegon Direct Affinity Marketings operates in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. The group sells in the UK through retail advisor channels, workplace channels, and direct channels. In the Netherlands, Aegon offers non-life insurance products through its intermediary channel and through the direct Aegon Online channel and partnerships.
After seeing a dip in 2011, the group's revenues climbed for two years. In 2014, revenues again slipped 4% to €46.3 billion as financial transactions declined; these declines were partially offset by an increase in investment, fee, and commission income. Following the decline in revenues, net income fell 23% to €757 million.
Cash flow from operations rose to €4.1 billion (versus an outflow of €2 billion in 2013); this improvement was due to an increase in cash provided by sales of investments and derivatives.
The company has established a strong growth pattern for existing and new international markets largely through strategic acquisitions. Aegon, which derives about 60% of its revenues from life insurance premiums, is focused on organic expansion in the high-growth regions of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. To consolidate its market position in Spain, Aegon in mid-2013 inked an exclusive 25-year strategic partnership with Santander. As part of the agreement, AEGON acquired a 51% stake in the joint venture, which consists of a life insurance company and a non-life insurance company. The venture distributes life and general insurance products through Santander's branch network while Aegon Spain provides back-office services.
Aegon's strategic priorities also include divesting or closing business that don't contribute to its long-term goals. It has divested units worth more than €3 billion since 2010, including its stake in France's La Mondiale Participations, the UK's Guardian Assurance, as well as its US reinsurance activities. It has placed its institutional markets division in run-off.
Other goals include improving customer service to increase client loyalty, investing in new distribution channels, and strengthening its brands. The group is also focused on growing its online presence and cutting operational costs.