Dutch insurance company Vivat “will focus on becoming the number one pension provider in the Netherlands”, according to its newly revealed strategy. The company is planning to grow its business under its pension brand Zwitserleven.

Vivat, which was recently acquired by Bermuda-headquartered insurance firm Athora from the Chinese Anbang Group after having sold its non-life activities to NN Group, wants to become the biggest private pension provider in the Netherlands in terms of premium income.

It did not, however, say when it expects to realise this ambition.

Vivat’s pension brand Zwitserleven occupies second place in the Dutch pension insurance market behind Aegon.

In the fast-growing premium pension institution (PPI) market, an individual defined contribution vehicle for company pensions, Zwitserleven is in fifth place in terms of premium income, and in sixth in terms of assets under management currently.

New clients shun DB

Vivat also announced it is introducing pension fund buyouts as a third “focus area”, in addition to its traditional focus on providing pension products for the accumulation and decumulation phases.

In practice, this would take the form of a closed pension fund handing over its pension liabilities to Vivat, a spokesperson said.

In recent years, Vivat has seen most of its growth in its PPI products. Assets under management have doubled each year since it was launched in 2013. The PPI platform currently has €581m in assets under management, while the total PPI market amounts to €12.1bn (end of 2019).

Though the future of defined benefit (DB) arrangements is in doubt because of the low interest rate environment, Zwitserleven said some clients continue to prefer this option.

“Some companies want to keep their DB arrangement and extend their contracts. We hardly see any new DB clients though,” the spokesperson said.

Customer satisfaction

Though Vivat announced it will cut costs by 30% within three years, it also vowed to “invest in our people, products and IT infrastructure to improve the customer experience”.

In this regard, the company specifically aims to improve its ‘net promoter score’, a Vivat spokesperson told IPE. This is a metric to measure customer loyalty and the likelihood of customers recommending a company’s product.

Life insurance companies like Vivat tend to score low on this, the spokesperson said. “Vivat’s score was -20 in 2019 and we are striving to reach a positive score over the next few years which should translate in higher growth.”

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