Aegon's Grace steps down after 10 years

Aegon's Grace steps down after 10 years

Adrian Grace has stepped down as chief executive of Aegon UK after ten years at the pension provider.

Mr Grace (pictured) will retire from the company on March 31, 2020 to be succeeded by Mike Holliday-Williams, who was most recently managing director of personal lines at Direct Line.

Mr Holliday-Williams, who takes up his position on October 1, said: “I am delighted to be joining Aegon at this pivotal time in our industry. I look forward to working with advisers to develop new solutions to enhance their relationships with their clients.”

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Mr Grace joined Aegon UK in 2009 as group business development director and in April 2011 became the CEO of Aegon UK & Ireland.

During his time as CEO he oversaw the acquisition of Cofunds which completed on January 1, 2017 and the subsequent replatforming problems which overshadowed much of last year.

The problems included clients not receiving income payments on time and being unable to sign into the platform.

Before joining Aegon Mr Grace was the managing director of commercial banking within the corporate division at Halifax Bank of Scotland.

He has also worked as chief executive of Barclays Insurance.

Alex Wynaendts, Aegon CEO, said: “We would like to thank Adrian for having successfully modernised, transformed and repositioned our UK business. 

“Under his leadership, our UK business has grown from £40bn of unit-linked pensions in 2009, to today where we oversee £175bn of pension and investment assets. 

“We wish Adrian well in his deserved retirement.”

Mr Holliday-Williams joined Direct Line Group in 2014, according to his profile on the ABI website. He was previously chief executive of RSA Group’s Scandinavian businesses, Codan A/S and Trygg-Hansa, and before that UK managing director of Personal Lines at RSA, responsible for the Morethan, Partnerships and the Broker businesses.

Before joining RSA, he worked in general management, marketing and customer growth roles across several industries including the energy, telecoms and retail sectors.

According to Aegon’s half year results for the period ending June 30, 2019, published last month (August 15), net outflows in the UK hit £2.6bn suggesting that advisers were leaving the firm's platform following the raft of issues in 2018.

Meanwhile, the firm’s platform assets in the UK passed the £140bn mark for the first time, up 9 per cent from £128bn at the beginning of 2019, helped by market movements.

In the UK, earnings before tax increased by 2 per cent to €70m (£64.6m) in the first half year of 2019 compared with €69m (£63.8m) in the first half of 2018.

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