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Aegon appoints COO and reports 23% drop in life/pensions new business

Aegon has appointed Adrian Grace as chief operating officer for life and pensions as it reports a 23 per cent drop in new business for that sector.

The provider’s finanical results for 2009, published today, show life and pensions new business for the year was £943m, down 23 per cent on 2008. However, life and pensions new business quarter-on-quarter increased to £237m in Q4, 9 per cent up on Q3.

Under International Financial Reporting Standards, underlying earnings for Q4 were £30m, up 131 per cent for the same period the previous year.

Aegon Asset Management generated gross sales of £270m for the quarter, an increase of 55 per cent on the same quarter in 2008. For the year new business was £1,07bn, an 99 per cent increase on 2008’s £542m.

Chief risk officer Mark Laidlaw has been promoted to a new role in Aegon’s global operations in The Hague, leading Aegon’s response to Solvency II.

Director of life and pensions operations Feilim Mackle and director of marketing and customer strategy Steve Clode are to leave the firm.

Aegon UK chief executive Otto Thoresen says: “Although 2009 was a challenging year for the life assurance sector, Aegon UK achieved a solid performance. We saw encouraging growth in the fourth quarter, with increased pension volumes one of the main drivers.”

He adds: “Aegon must continue to push forward and build on the success of recent years. The market drivers of people living longer and the continuing trend for businesses to move from defined benefit to defined contribution pensions schemes present clear opportunities for the UK life and pensions sector and we continue to see good potential for growth.”

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