NETHERLANDS - Aegon Netherlands is to outsource €40bn to Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking as part of wider investment platform plans. Financial terms were not disclosed.

They said they would launch a-first-to-market flexible investment platform for a range of asset strategies - including portable alpha - through pooling.

According to both players, the platform is the first full service solution to support the process and administrative needs of investors, institutions, asset managers and pension funds within the EU.

The initiative is the first success of the Dutch Treasury, which had offered active assistance in getting fiscal barriers abroad removed, in order to prevent migration of Dutch institutional assets to tax-friendly countries like Ireland and Luxembourg, a spokesman confirmed.

The Finance Ministry has made it clear that it wants to make Holland an attractive location for the financial sector.

"The solution enables each participant to fulfil the different tax, accounting and regulatory requirements and reporting obligations in their countries of residence," Aegon and Citigroup said in a joint statement.

"The platform also offers higher investment performance through investment in a wide range of asset classes and investment styles."
"Aegon's investment management affiliates in the Netherlands will outsource their back and middle office activities to Citigroup, in a transaction of €40bn of assets under custody," they added.

Citigroup will provide administration, performance and transition management, customized equity-related solutions and post-trade compliance functions. The services will be in addition to custody, securities lending and fund accounting. The migration of current funds is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2007.

"In Citigroup we have found a partner that understands our desire to present a highly innovative product," Aegon Netherlands' board member Erik van Houwelingen said.

"The platform possibilities are almost infinite. It supports our strategy to provide our clients with innovative asset management solutions, allowing our client to benefit from the product and scale benefits."

Francesco Vanni d'Archirafi, CEO of Citigroup Global Transaction Services in Europe, added: "This agreement further demonstrates our commitment to create first to market opportunities, and to leverage our technology and scale for the long-term benefit of our clients."