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Aegon axes another 51 jobs

Aegon has announced a further 51 job cuts as part of its ongoing drive to cut costs by 25 per cent by the end of 2011.

The decision follows consultation with unions Aegis and Unite on restructuring plans for the employee benefits and finance departments. As a result, the remaining 42 roles in employee benefits have been scrapped, along with nine positions in the firm’s finance department.

Today’s news follows the 106 job cuts the provider announced since June. The total reduction in roles as a result of the programme so far is 242, including the transfer of 82 members of staff as a result of the sale of Aegon’s third party administration business to Goddard Perry.

Aegon UK chief operating officer Adrian Grace says: “We are on track with our restructuring programme, with a number of important decisions made and plans implemented over the past few months. Today we are able to provide clarity for staff within our employee benefits business and announce plans for the first phase of change within the finance department. The programme will continue during 2011 and we expect further updates on progress in the early part of next year.

“The programme presents opportunity and challenge for the business. I have been impressed with how our people are responding to the challenge. The changes we are making now are essential to ensure the long term success of Aegon in the UK.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. This is horrible news for the people affected. It makes me wonder how committed Aegon are to investing in and improving the products and services they want us to recommend? Especially with some of their good people like Alun Benyon moving on too.

  2. “Further updates in 2011” sounds ominous. Quite an inappropriate turn of phrase from Mr. Grace to describe redundancy as ‘clarity’

  3. Another unintended consequence of RDR. Skandia was first off the mark with its closure of all branches.

    Oxera, the market research firm employed by the FSA to assess the costs and benefits of the changes, expects the net present value of the compliance costs to the industry to reach between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion. Worryingly, the estimate in 2008 was £600 million.

    The majority of adviser firms expect a reduction in turnover and in addition an estimated 10,000 advisers are predicted to leave the industry.

    Consumers with smaller amounts to invest are much less likely to seek advice if they have to pay for it explicitly.

    Well done FSA Oxera, have assessed the costs but where are the benefits? Perhaps Mark (rubber stamp) Hoban MP will have the answers for us at the RDR debate?

  4. The fact is that as mainstream product offerings become more and more streamlined and transparent, so too does it become ever harder for life offices to compete.

    Gone is all the old stuff such as enhanced allocation rates offset by early encashment charges or artificially hiked rates of commission to buy business. Nowadays, it’s all about clear and simple charging structures, quality fund ranges, easy-to-use online facilities (for valuations, literature and illustrations), quality of broker support (ha!), offshore bond wrappers that allow access to a range of UK based funds (the performance of which can be easily tracked), competent and reliable admin and trouble-shooting and all those sorts of things.

    Having been originally life insurance companies, the traditional offices which rebranded themselves as pension and investment houses are finding life in the 21st Century very tough ~ they just aren’t at the cutting edge any more (if they ever really were). Stodgy fund ranges, contract charging structures that don’t bear comfortable scrutiny, cruddy admin and an absence of CAR flexibility for IFA’s just don’t cut it any more.

    Times they are a-changing and there are going to be a few more big name casualties yet.

  5. What I don’t understand is why they’re holding onto Lytham? I hear that there’s a growing divide between Edinburgh HO and Lytham due to their lack of understanding of how grave the situation is. For example, Edinburgh Union members acpt the current climate and vote to accept a nil pay rise and bonus, Lytham Union members don’t accept it – get in the real world lytham. the company needs 2 save £80 million quid so this means no pay rise and no bonus.

  6. Thank you very much Anonymous for your insight into the workings of the Lytham site. You are however, completely mis-informed and I would hope in future you ensure your facts are correct. Let me correct you on 3 points:

    1. Brian Linn the Aegis general secretary has been quoted in the press when talking about the proposed pay freeze as saying “ there was a large number (of Aegis members) who voted against it”. That strikes me as a very similar feeling amongst staff across both sites.

    2. Edinburgh / Lytham union members have not been voting for no bonus. At no point has there been any mention of no bonus being paid.

    3. I’m not sure why the company would not want to hold on to the Lytham site. It is generating cash flow, has no regulatory issues, and has an excellent loyal workforce. Anti Lytham rhetoric like your comments does not help the company or staff morale, especially when you are quite simply wrong

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