NETHERLANDS - The asset management arm of Dutch insurer Aegon has today announced its Dutch business will separate the European and Asian share portfolios into alpha and beta.

It has erected two new subsidiaries, Pelargos Capital for the Asian equity and Saemor Capital for the European equity, to be responsible for the management of the portfolios.

Pelargos and Saemor, both based in the Netherlands, will start managing the alpha portfolio from the second quarter of this year while Aegon will continue to manage the beta portfolio.

Marjolein Wester-Breed, spokeswoman for Aegon, told IPE the move follows the split of its US portfolio two years ago, into alpha and beta.

"The American portfolios showed more return after the split than before," she said

The company added in a written statement: "Separating an investment portfolio into alpha and beta also produces separate returns - the market return (beta) and the excess return (alpha) a portfolio manager can realise using his skills."

Aegon continues: "By managing the parts separately from one another, better risk-return ratios are possible. This way, more sources of value added will be available and a greater focus can be created in the portfolio."

The insurer was in the news only last Friday when FNV Bondgenoten, the largest Dutch union, told IPE it is refusing to place any new deals with insurer Aegon, as it believes it has shown a "very unreliable" attitude in the Optas case.

Willem Noordman, treasurer with the union and the employees' chairman with the Dutch organisation for industry-wide pension funds, told IPE: "The behaviour of Aegon puts them in such a light that, as far as we are concerned, they are not very reliable." (See earlier IPE story: Pension boycott of Aegon over Optas)

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email