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Aegon could axe Retiready as platform placed under review

File image of Modern Laptop with Broken Brick ScreenAegon is reviewing the future of its direct-to-consumer platform Retiready, as it cements its focus on the advised platform market.

Money Marketing understands one option Aegon is considering is getting rid of the Retiready brand altogether. The provider says it is reviewing what to do with Retiready and will confirm its decision later this year.

An Aegon spokesman says: “Aegon’s future is intermediated and our future strategy is focused on how we help the adviser community. That’s why we acquired both Cofunds and BlackRock’s defined contribution platform which are both strong intermediary-focussed businesses.”

The spokesman adds: “We’ve learnt a lot about user experience and customer engagement from Retiready and it has helped us build an exciting new customer portal that intermediaries will be able to use with their clients.

“However, given we have not sought to acquire customers directly for more than two years we’re currently reviewing what we do with the Retiready brand. We will be in a position to confirm the details later this year.”

Retiready launched in 2014.

Aegon completed the first stage of moving Cofunds customers onto its new combined platform in December by transferring 79,000 investors over the Christmas period.

Cofunds’ advised clients are expected to move to the new platform in May.

As the Cofunds brand begins being phased out, Aegon also announced a raft of management changes yesterday.

Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace assumed the role of chief executive of Cofunds following Aegon’s acquisition of the platform, as well as David Hobbs’ appointment as managing director for investments.

Chief distribution and marketing officer Mark Till is taking over the role of managing director for Aegon Digital Solutions, where he will oversee the platform’s workplace and protection businesses.

Till, who held multiple positions with Barclays for 22 years and has also spent time with Standard Life, Fidelity, and Zurich, has been with Aegon since September 2015, and is a frequent presence at adviser events and roadshows.

Scottish Widows’ Ronnie Taylor will take over Till’s sales responsibilities with advisers as the firm’s new chief distribution officer.

Focusing specifically on Aegon’s shifting business structure, current chief operating officer of digital solutions Richard Denning will be taking on the role of chief transformation and digital officer with responsibility for IT and digital operations.

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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So after them spending the last few years writing out to all clients inviting them to switch old style contracts to Retiready, which if they went ahead then meant they weren’t under our agency any more, Aegon are now considering orphaning them even more!

    That’s really good planning by Aegon.

    • That’s exactly what I was going to say. I had them refuse to transfer agency or the plan as when they’d moved someone to retire ready (without explicit agreement), they changed the plan number and as the client had moved in between and not all his post was getting to him, neither he nor I could work out why they would not carry out the requested transfer.
      They are one of those companies where common sense has gone out the window. and they wonder why the independant wraps are preferred to them…. no telephone support/contact name from them, let alone local support wheras we know many staff at firms like Transact by name in addition to the broker consultants and pension technical staff.

  2. So they spend years stealthily moving clients to a non-advised product without notifying anyone and have now decided to go after the advised market? You couldn’t make it up!

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