Aegon  

'We’re almost there': Aegon platform cuts outflows to £53m

Overall, the CEO said the firm was making "quite a big investment" across its processes and front-end experience.

Re-organising teams

Alongside platform investments, Aegon UK has also been cutting costs in line with its wider group targets. 

"If our expenses are lower, we have less cost to take off that income to drive this operating profit," said Holliday-Williams, who added the firms £44m operating profit showed "good expense control" and "good flow income".

"Our model is working," he said. The firm explained in its results that it was “improving platform efficiency” through expense saving. 

“Expense savings initiatives and the favourable impact from market movements on assets have more than offset the revenues lost from the gradual run-off of the traditional product portfolio,” it said.

This has included re-organising teams across the board and, according to its CEO, "getting rid of duplication".

Asked which teams have been reshuffled, Holliday-Williams said: "Pretty much all the teams in some ways. The biggest [re-organising] has been in our operations teams."

Originally, these teams were just looking at one platform, and that's where their individual focus lied, the CEO explained. 

But to better scale its UK business, he said these teams needed to be able to deal with multiple skills across multiple platforms.

"So we've tried to re-scale and re-engineer those teams, so that they can work across multiple platforms," said Holliday-Williams. "And that basically gives us a better economy of scale overall."

Aegon UK has outsourced a lot of testing on a technology side. The CEO concluded: "There's no silver bullet here. We're nibbling away at making us more efficient and driving cost savings."

Lard Friese, Aegon Group’s chief executive, said the business as a whole remains on track to deliver its target of £340m (€400m) expense savings by 2023.

On its 1,200 “detailed initiatives” designed to improve the group’s operating performance around reducing costs, expanding margins and growing profitably, Aegon has completed 684 of these initiatives. 

Some 549 of these relate to expense savings. The group aims to achieve half of its expense reduction target by the end of 2021.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com