Aegon’s recently appointed chief executive has pledged to improve the service it provides to UK financial advisers.
In his first major strategy update since being appointed as boss of the Dutch financial services group in May, Lard Friese highlighted the “attractive nature” of the long-term savings market in the UK, noting that this was aligned with demand for financial advice.
Mr Friese identified Aegon UK as one of the core businesses within the wider group and signalled the company’s commitment to investment in the UK, with a view to strengthening the company's reach.
Part of the firm’s investment will be funnelled into its financial adviser channel. Aegon said it would focus on developing a new front-end adviser-customer digital portal and improving service and distribution support.
Within this, Aegon pledged to enhance its platform functionality and user experience. Other developments will include the introduction of further decumulation and model portfolio propositions.
Key areas for investment also included the workplace channel, in which Aegon will focus on digitisation and personalisation of employer and member experiences, and the integration of propositions, such as its recently launched risk managed portfolio proposition for the adviser market.
Aegon UK chief executive Mike Holliday-Williams said: “Aegon UK is well positioned to capitalise on both the growing demand for financial advice and the increasingly important role of workplace savings.
“We have identified a number of areas where we will invest in order to achieve profitable growth and capitalise on these opportunities.”
Mr Holliday-Williams said there were a number of common themes including a focus on user experiences, service, greater personalisation and proposition development.
These changes were “underpinned” by a renewed focus on purpose, Mr Holliday-Williams said, and the firm's ambitions to “help people achieve a lifetime of financial security”.
He added: “I believe this year in particular has highlighted the vital role our industry and financial advisers play in helping people prepare for the unexpected and in providing financial security and flexibility.”
The announcement mirrors the strategy Mr Holliday-Williams set out earlier this year, where he laid out a roadmap to capitalising on the company’s position in the platform and workplace markets.
In July, FTAdviser reported that Aegon’s financial advice arm would become a “key focus” for the financial giant following its latest restructure.
Aegon announced it would be merging its existing business and digital solutions arms to create one single business encompassing pensions, investments and protection.
The firm’s managing director for platform solutions, Mark Till, was named the man in charge of the new, single business, but he is now due to start the top job at employee benefits provider Unum in the new year.
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