Investments  

Aegon promises "significant changes" to platform

Aegon promises "significant changes" to platform

Aegon believes it has restored the service levels on its platform, but it will complete several upgrades to the system in the coming months.

The platform was beset by problems in the immediate aftermath of its replatforming in May 2017, with advisers unable to get valuations for their clients' portfolios or make transfers. 

The company said the platform returned to its target level of service in the second half of 2018. 

But in a statement accompanying its accounts, covering the six months to June 30, the company said: "Our focus is currently on delivering the proposition enhancements that advisers have requested.

"In the second half of the year a number of significant changes will be made, including a recently implemented improvement to transaction history. Advisers can expect to see the pace of enhancements increase over the coming months as activity which has been in plan for some time starts to be delivered."

Aegon recently confirmed it would add a feature allowing advisers to hold more than one product in the same tax wrapper and add investment trusts to the platform, but declined to provide a timeline for when this would be completed. 

The company’s chief executive, Adrian Grace, said the UK operation as a whole paid a dividend of £160m to its Dutch parent company for the six month period. 

Mr Grace said: “These figures reflect a consistent and profitable strategy by the business to develop a scale investment platform, while efficiently servicing and supporting our customers in older products.”

Meanwhile Aegon is expecting to achieve savings of £90m a year from its UK business, including £60m from the integration of the Cofunds platform.

In its latest accounts Aegon said it had made £40m in annual savings from integrating the Cofunds business and this would rise to £60m later this year.

The additional savings will include those from the closure of an office and decommissioning of existing "legacy" systems. 

Aegon bought Cofunds for £140m in August 2016 and in 2017 confirmed it would kill off the Cofunds brand. It announced in 2018 that its office in Hove, in Sussex, would close. The operations that had been performed in Hove will be moved to Witham, in Essex. 

The combined platform had assets under administration of £140bn at the end of June 2019 after it was hit by outflows of £2.6bn in the first half of the year. 

david.thorpe@ft.com