Aegon to acquire BlackRock’s UK Defined Contribution platform

Aegon has announced an agreement to acquire BlackRock’s UK defined contribution (DC) platform and administration business, strengthening its position as a leading player in the UK workplace market with assets under management of around £30 billion.
Paul Bucksey from BlackRock will be appointed Managing Director of the combined workplace business, which brings together the complementary capabilities of both propositions to offer DC services to schemes of all sizes and types.
The strength of Aegon’s digital employee experience and its expertise in contract based schemes will be supplemented by a focus on trust-based and investment-only markets, in which BlackRock’s DC platform and administration business specialises. 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, CEO 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, who continues to be a key partner providing investment management for Aegon clients. BlackRock’s renowned strength as a leading investment manager means it 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. BlackRock DC clients will continue to receive the same high levels of service from the Peterborough servicing centre.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and a Part VII transfer of the underlying assets and liabilities to Aegon, which is subject to regulatory and court approval. The financial impact of the transaction is not material to BlackRock earnings.