Deal adds £30bn of assets

Aegon boosts pensions offering with swoop on BlackRock

Adrian GraceAegon is bolstering its position in the workplace pensions marker by acquiring BlackRock’s UK defined contribution platform and administration business which has £30 billion of assets under management.

Paul Bucksey from BlackRock will be appointed managing director of the combined workplace business.

Aegon says its digital employee experience and experience in contract based schemes will complement the trust-based and investment-only markets, in which BlackRock’s DC platform and administration business specialises.

It believes that having a complete suite of workplace solutions that includes ISAs, GIAs, guarantees and SIPPs will appeal to employers seeking additional solutions.

BlackRock will continue to serve the UK DC market through its core focus of bringing world class investment solutions to market, and sees growth potential for the £65 billion of UK DC investments it currently manages.

Adrian Grace, chief executive of Aegon UK, said: “The combined strength and breadth of expertise makes us a compelling choice. With employers demanding additional solutions to meet employees’ needs to and through retirement, workplace savings are no longer just about traditional DC pensions.

“This makes it an exciting market and with an expectation it will triple in size over the next 10 years, we are well positioned to take advantage.”

The transaction deepens Aegon’s relationship with BlackRock, which continues to be a key partner providing investment management for Aegon clients.

BlackRock retains its role as the primary investment manager for the clients who will transfer to Aegon as part of the transaction.

David Blumer, head of BlackRock, EMEA, said: “The pensions and investment landscape has changed significantly in the UK over the last few years. BlackRock believes Aegon’s broad retail product and digital capabilities will best serve the increased demand from employers for holistic retirement solutions in the future, and are a perfect partner to deliver on our DC platform and administration clients’ growing needs.

“Following the transaction, BlackRock will continue to grow its DC investments business by providing market leading investment products to DC schemes, consultants, master trusts and pension providers.”

Aegon’s retention of BlackRock’s specialist employees and established systems will provide stability and ongoing continuity for trustees, plan sponsors and their advisers.

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