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Aegon to shut regional sales offices – 160 jobs at risk

Grace-Adrian-aegon-2011-700x450.jpg
Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace will oversee UK restructure.

Aegon plans to close all of its regional sales offices as part of a major restructure which could result in 160 job losses, Money Marketing can reveal.

Aegon held a meeting with its UK staff at 10am today during which it announced plans to close its six regional sales offices in the UK.

In addition, the provider will increase the number of “platform implementation” roles from 19 to 42 as it focuses resources on its ARC platform offering.

Aegon managing director of UK retail Duncan Jarrett says: “The distribution structure has served us fantastically well in the past, but we must evolve to provide for the adviser community, helping us to strengthen and develop profitable relationships for the future.”

Aegon’s regional sales offices are based in Glasgow, London, Guildford, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.

Aegis, the trade union which represents Aegon UK workers, says: “This is devastating news for our sales community.

“Whilst we understand the business, economic, technological and regulatory drivers for change, we are focusing on how we can best support our members at this difficult time.

“We will continue to work with the company throughout the consultation period to identify as many redeployment opportunities as possible for the affected staff.”

It is the second major UK restructure Aegon has announced in three years. 

The last restructure, announced by Aegon group chief executive Alex Wynaendts in June 2010, saw the provider cut over 1,000 jobs in the UK as part of a restructure designed to reduce operating costs by 25 per cent by the end of 2011.

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Comments

There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Good choice of picture considering the subject matter….

  2. Regulation, regulation regulation.
    When will the balance arrive, the costs and consumer detriment for being unable to access financial services is becoming a greater issue with nearly 90 life companies closing in the UK in the past 20 years and as the industry shrinks the regulations increase.

  3. Roman Duzinkewycz 6th June 2013 at 10:27 am

    I always thought you build from the top down to ensure the best chance of success – begs a question doesn’t it? More folk on the scrapheap but not the chap pictured eh?

  4. Evolve to support the adviser community, who’s he kidding. There with only around 14,000 of us left by the end of the year. I doubt if I’ll be able to remain in business. RDR is a massive failure. Watch the networks fall when the second quarter results are known.

  5. Who wants to from a queue to wipe that smile off his face?

  6. Aegon ARC cannot get their administration right and yet the focus still remains on this nightmare platform.

    All good when simple plans are implemented, yet when things go wrong, you join this horrendous nightmare of trying to get things fixed by unqualified administrators who fail to differentiate between an ISA and a SIPP!

    Any excuse to get rid of quality sales (also Aegon admin issue solvers) in the search for greed and profits . . . and the gravy train just keeps on rolling . . .

  7. good to know its still a people business

  8. Absolutely disgusting….. what ever happened to TCF? So now we are expected to deal with nameless and faceless people on the end of the phone or more likely – not even that – just get referred to the website. This industry is terminally ill now I fear.

  9. @Andrew – perfect comment. Nameless is exactly how Aegon ARC operate. There is no direct email or phone numbers. . . you have one choice of mailbox and one choice of phone number . . .

    NO case ownership and NO service . . . but hey, they are growing and making profits!!!!

  10. Andrew – 11:52 am

    Are you serious?? Aegon will still give customers a dedicated account manager, the only difference being its telephone related. Sorry . . . do you struggle speaking over the phone? For you and anyone else who can’t come to terms with the fact that the world is evolving more and more towards technology, the internet, and that communication is in effect a lot more simpler these days . . . . Then quite frankly, you will not survive in business.

    I am pretty dam sure that should you desperately need to see someone face to face, then Aegon will send an account manager to you.

    There simply is no need nowadays to have a large base of face to face representative, paying them £40k basics + Cars + expenses, having them sit in traffic most of the day to visit two maybe three clients, when an experienced, and still highly qualified person can do the same work, if not more, over the telephone.

    Maybe you need Skype . . . (that is a technology that allows you to see the person you are speaking to on your computer screen).

    Sorry if I sound direct, but this is 2013, get with the times. Aegon are !!

  11. And then send an email around to IFAs talking about RDR etc. and how having less staff is a positive thing.

    If people weren’t losing jobs it would be laughable.

  12. @Aegon Madness . . . I am sure no one is forcing you to use ARC Mr. Madness

  13. @ Anonymous

    Indeed Mr Anonymous. Do you by any chance work for Aegon? LOL

    Everyone has a choice, hence moving all clients slowly away, but some issues are ongoing so having to wait until resolve (2 months old now!) – never ever again!

    It’s always good to share experiences – good and bad – to your “fellows” . . . . .

  14. Anonymous | 6 Jun 2013 12:13 pm

    Do you buy all of your products off the internet?

    If yes well done. If not shut up.

    Not called Adrian by any chance are you?

  15. The biggest surprise for me in this article was to discover that they still have Branches. In this day and age, whatever for?

    Incidentally, I speak as a former Life Office Branch Manager, but that was in a different age, and on almost a different planet.

    The world has moved on, and then on some more, to the point where the likes of AEGON must consider their very future, not just that of it’s Branches.

  16. Death by a thousand cuts.

  17. Biggest whoosh of the day for anonymous 12.13pm.

    I don’t think Andrew asked for face to face contact, just ownership and responsibility for matters. I get exactly what he means.

    I do my own admin and believe me, when it comes to a lack of ownership of dealings, I have to say that, in my experience, AEGON are up there with the best already!

  18. Anonymous | 6 Jun 2013 12:13 pm

    While I don’t disagree with your view, unfortunately when companies do this the service that advisers receive from some central point (whether internet / phone or email) is never as good as it was when there are staff on the ground in the local area. So yes you are right to say in the modern age a branch network is not required but what companies like Aegon do is they shut the branch network and never really get to grips with or bother with good quality centralised support.

    So when it comes down to it all the corporate drone speak that Duncan Jarrett spouts above the bottom line will be that this exercise will be about cost cutting and not about providing better service. It would be refreshing to hear someone say that but they never do or will!

    Sad thing is that as we often forget when commenting on these articles is that’s another 150 people and 150 families impacted all in the pursuit of greater profit.

    I’m no leftie by any stretch of the imagination and while companies are not charities the relentless pursuit of lining pockets of the top brass is rather depressing. A quick look on the internet shows you that the Aegon share price is down 44.5% in 5 years – is exec pay down by 44.5% – mmmm….
    what do you think?

  19. Big Brother coward from the Midlands 6th June 2013 at 1:32 pm

    This is the company who have announced that they are going to cancel out trail commissions for not servicing clients, then keep them for themselves with no brance network left to service clients!!
    Double standards or just the usual lack of ethics which we have come to expect.

    Somebody should drop the people who run the company off their plaform!!! – My big tip is that AXA / friends will be next!

  20. Perhaps the perpetrator of all the Job losses in Financial Services – Sir Hector – could find jobs for everyone with a nice lucrative salary like he was able to get, along with all the other hierarchy who were at the FSA and have now jumped into the nice little world they set up for themselves.

    As Sean 12:14 said people are losing their jobs – Hector said it was a price worth paying – he isn’t the one paying though nor any of the FSA hierarchy that helped destroy an industry.

  21. I do find it amusing that people with harsh or critical views come in under the name anonymous…..you don’t have to give your real name you know………Mr Grace???

    Aegon are a little late to the party as other “players” have long since wielded an unforgiving axe over its sales offices.

    Undoubtedly this is being done as cost saving and sales forces with their premier ship footballer bonus schemes, ok – league 1 bonus schemes, have always been an expense and are of a bygone era.

    Operational efficiency (the fancy name for job cuts) has to be achieved with the correct balance towards maintaining a standard of service and its that latter part that providers fail.

    I don’t consider Aegons service to be great, but then I don’t consider it to be much worse or better than anyone else. Differentiator amongst product providers is on the whole much of a muchness.

  22. I have had 4 Aegon/ScotEq broker consultants in 15 yes. 3 became IFAs and my current one is telephone based, 400 miles away. All four have been amongst the best.

    ARC has advantages and disadvantages. We use it for the right customers
    but I do have a preference for a. more rounded wrap such as Transact.

    General admin at Edinburgh has got worse since RDR though and they do need to improve processes and be more open about dissapointing firms as agents and what happens to trail.

    I don’t mind telephone based support, but I’d rather not change consultant again.

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