TURKEY - The Dutch insurer Aegon has confirmed its expansion into Turkey with the completed acquisition of the Turkish pension and life insurance provider, Ankara Emeklilik.

The group announced in February it had entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the firm from Polis Bakim ve Yardim Sandigi, but the transaction was still subject to regulatory approval in Turkey. Ankara Emeklilik has around €35m in assets under management.

Ugur Tozsekerli, former assistant general manager of Yapi Kredi Emeklilik, was appointed as chief executive, though the appointment is still has to be approved by the regulator.

Aegon, which recently announced the objective to expand its presence in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), said it is its first step into the Turkish market.

"In June, when we presented our new group strategy, we said we wanted to build scale in emerging markets like CEE-markets that offer sustainable, profitable growth in the years ahead," said Gabor Kepecs, the member of Aegon's management board responsible for Central & Eastern Europe.

He added: "The acquisition of Ankara Emeklilik is very much part of this strategy."

Aegon, which rebranded its European group pension arm Aegon Global Pensions in a push for cross-border business earlier this year, has so far established branches in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania.

The group aims to achieve a 10% share of the mandatory pension market in the region, increasing its total number of pension fund members to 2.3 million, up from the current 2m members.

Aegon is the latest in line for a chunk of the Turkish pension pie, with established players such as the Dutch bank ING posing competition.

Only last month, Oyak, the Turkish Army Pension Fund, announced it had sold its private pension subsidiary Oyak Emeklilik for €110m to ING.

Oyak Emeklilik, which was established in 2003 and manages assets of approximately €160m in six separate investment funds, is the first and only voluntary pension fund in Turkey specifically established for private pension fund management. [See earlier story IPE.com: 'Oyak sells private pension division']

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