NETHERLANDS - Aegon is planning to launch a pension asset pooling platform in autumn which is is being developed with Citigroup and TKP Investments and is specifically targeted at multinational companies, IPE has learnt.
News broke of Aegon's plans for a cross-border pooling to European pension funds in January, when the investment branch of TKP Pensioen - the pension administration firm set up by the Dutch post and telecoms pension funds - revealed its involvement in the new platform. (See earlier story IPE story: TKP Investments eyes cross-border business)
Frans van der Horst, managing director of Aegon Global Pension - the company Aegon has set up specifically for new services such as asset pooling - confirmed to IPE the new offering will be targeted at multinationals who "are looking seriously at the pension dossier", but who cannot or will not launch a platform themselves".
"We have developed a technical platform together with Citi, which is the infrastructure enabling the 'ticking' of all the right tax boxes in all underlying countries of a client," explained Van der Horst.
He added: "Together with TKP Investments, we have loaded this infrastructure with a multi-management investment product."
Pension assets will be invested in mutual funds for joint accounts, so-called FGRs, which until recently were only open to Dutch pension funds.
Aegon is currently in the latest stage of testing its new platform, and has started offering the model to the relevant companies. "We have been soft launching for a while now," said Van der Horst.
Van der Horst pitches Aegon as a frontrunner in asset pooling, and arguing while there are a number of providers on the market who want believe they offer an asset pooling platform, he claims they are not necessarily managing the complexities of asset pooling well.
He denied Aegon is setting up a Dutch API, a pan-European pension fund vehicle, part of which is set to be launched next year.
"In the shift from a multi-domestic to single jurisdiction offering, an API is one of the possibilities we could launch into the market. But we are making an inventory of what the market wants and which solutions you have to offer."
Aegon said a Belgian OFP vehicle, launched last year by the Belgian government as a potential cross-border vehicle for multinationals, could also be an option, but Aegon has yet to make any decisions.
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