FRANCE – Dutch-based insurer Aegon says it has received regulatory approval to buy 20% of French pensions and life insurance specialist La Mondiale, in a step towards setting up a pan-European pensions group.

“Further to the announcement of their European alliance on September 5 2002, La Mondiale, the mutual French specialist in life insurance and pensions, and Aegon, the multinational life insurance group, obtained all regulatory approvals for Aegon to acquire an initial 20% stake in La Mondiale Participations,” the companies said in a joint statement. The price was not disclosed.

La Mondiale has 700,000 clients and a turner of 2.9 million euros. The two companies agreed in September to create a specialised European group pension network to meet the needs of multinational companies.

At the time, Aegon chairman Donald Shepard said: “We share a common vision on the business opportunities in the European pension markets.”