Aegon announces changes to Aegon Master Trust Board
Aegon has announced that it will change the Aegon Master Trust Board from an affiliate board structure to a fully independent board structure and is recruiting a new trustee.
The change is being made in response to client and consultant feedback and will enable further external oversight and expertise for the benefit of scheme members. As part of the recruitment process Aegon will be looking for a trustee with extensive investment experience, centred around the ESG considerations in workplace pensions which will be a valuable addition to an already diverse and highly regarded board.
The planned addition of a new independent trustee with experience of ESG considerations, follows the recent news that the default fund used by Aegon’s Master Trust, will increase its exposure to ESG strategies. The BlackRock LifePath default fund used will have more than half of the fund’s assets invested in ESG strategies by the end of Q1 2021.
Linda Whorlow, Managing Director, Workplace at Aegon comments:
“We are in the process of recruiting a new independent trustee for our master trust board and the appointment process follows a decision to move to a fully independent board structure. The decision to create a fully independent board is based on client and consultant feedback and will allow us to add further external oversight and expertise for the benefit of scheme members.
“As part of the recruitment process we are looking for a trustee with extensive investment experience, centred around the ESG considerations in workplace pensions which will be a valuable addition to an already diverse and highly regarded board. We believe there are many merits to an affiliate structure, not least the ability of the Aegon trustees to bring real time information on what’s happening in the business to the board, which was particularly valuable during the authorisation process and in the early phases of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a result, our affiliate trustees, Ronnie Taylor and Phil Tervit, will stand down as trustees but continue to work closely with the board to ensure a smooth transition as we implement the new structure.”
Ian Pittaway, Chair of the Aegon Master Trust board comments:
“Moving to a fully independent board and bolstering the investment expertise around the boardroom table will further strengthen our governance arrangements for the benefit of scheme members and demonstrates our commitment to respond to client and consultant feedback.”
The current Aegon Master Trust Board
Ian Pittaway, non-affiliated trustee and Chair of the Aegon Master Trust board, is the Senior Partner of Sacker & Partners. He acts as a legal adviser for several pension schemes. As an independent chairman of several pension funds, he has extensive experience of the issues faced by trustee boards.
Alison Bostock, non-affiliated trustee, is an actuary and has worked in pensions since 1990, advising trustees and sponsors of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes for 25 years before becoming a full time trustee as a director of PTL Governance Limited. Alison has an in depth knowledge of the legal framework and regulatory requirements for defined contribution schemes.
Helen Parker, non-affiliated trustee, Helen has 30 years’ experience of working as a consumer champion. She was Deputy Chief Executive of Which?, Europe’s largest independent consumer organisation, and now has a number of roles with a focus on consumer engagement and protection. These include being a non-executive Director of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects consumers if financial services companies fail, and of Healthwatch England, which exists to ensure that people’s experiences are used to improve the way that health and care services are designed and delivered.
Ronnie Taylor, Chief Distribution Officer, Aegon UK, is an actuary with over thirty years’ experience in the workplace savings market. He has previously led the workplace businesses at both Standard Life and Scottish Widows. Ronnie is extremely well-connected in the market and is recognised as a leading figure in the industry. His particular area of focus is making sure the Aegon Master Trust has market-leading communications and engaging material that drives good member outcomes.
Phil Tervit, Finance Director, Aegon UK, is an actuary and has been with Aegon for nine years, giving him a detailed understanding of the business, holding several roles in driving forward its strategic change. Phil has held many senior risk roles, including Chief Risk Officer for a subsidiary insurer. His particular area of focus on the Master Trust Board is ensuring that robust governance is in place, sound investment offerings and financial security.
Notes to Editors
- In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to over three million customers. Aegon employs around 2000 people in the UK and together with a further 800 people employed by Atos, we serve the needs of our customers. More information: aegon.co.uk
- As an international life insurance, pensions and asset management group based in The Hague, Aegon has businesses in over twenty markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Aegon companies employ approximately 26,000 people and have millions of customers across the globe. Further information: aegon.com
Figures correct as of November 2019