Aegon UK acquires engagement specialists Pension Geeks
- Pension Geeks are industry leaders in explaining financial topics in new and innovative ways which draw on the founders’ background in animation and storytelling
- Deal builds on the existing partnership between the two companies
- Pension Geeks will continue to operate independently but with access to investment and resource from Aegon
Aegon UK has acquired Pension Geeks, an award-winning business that specialises in connecting people with their finances through innovative engagement techniques, communication and events.
The company, which was founded in 2014 by business partners Jonathan Bland and Rachel Parkinson, has become a leader in helping employers and financial services providers build bespoke events and communication programmes to encourage people to engage with their finances. Their focus on bringing energy, enthusiasm and simplicity to topics which many people would rather avoid has won them a number of awards and helped them build up a bank of clients who use the company to help explain workplace pensions and increasingly broader topics like financial wellbeing. In recent years the Geeks have:
- Created Pension Awareness Day, a national awareness day to which they have driven teams of ‘pension geeks’ in vibrant buses and camper vans to different locations across the UK to help 1,000s of people with their pensions.
- Worked in partnership with companies like Aegon to deliver dozens of onsite employer events, covering off pension basics and engaging employees differently through innovative virtual reality headsets or caricature artists to help people picture their future selves.
- Devised the first ever pensions and wellbeing digital platform for employers - housing dynamic webinars, a 1 to 1 chat facility, a Netflix style video library and lots of other useful content to help employees get on board with their finances.
The spark that led to the creation of Pension Geeks came from a conversation between Jonathan and Rachel when discussing their pension savings and the challenges of making sense of their money. Jonathan had trained as an animator and had studied under top industry professionals from major studios like Disney and Pixar, while Rachel’s background was in marketing – engaging younger people at the university she was working at. Together they agreed there was an opportunity to bring fresh thinking, storytelling and a new perspective to the world of pensions communications.
Aegon has been working with Pensions Geeks since 2018 and the relationship has gone from strength to strength as the Geeks have become increasingly important to enhancing the company’s workplace communication approach. Today’s deal will mean the company’s founders continue to lead the organisation with Pension Geeks remaining operationally independent with their own clients, but with access to investment and resource from Aegon to grow the business.
The Pension Geeks will also continue to play an important role with Aegon’s workplace clients as together they offer energetic, accessible and engaging activities to employers seeking to explain their workplace benefits. They will supplement a series of recent investments in member experience by Aegon, including its award-winning video summaries, the launch of a customer app and digital hub for employers to use to launch their scheme with impact when they join Aegon.
Commenting on the news, Pension Geek’s co-founder and Head Geek, Jonathan Bland said: “Today represents a major milestone for the business and I’m thrilled that our future is with a partner that has been instrumental to our growth in recent years. Aegon’s commitment to helping customers achieve financial security is so aligned with our mission, so the cultural fit is absolutely perfect for us.
“Part of our success comes from the bold and creative culture we’ve established at Pension Geeks and with Aegon, we will continue to break the status quo with fresh and out of the box thinking when communicating financial topics.
“We’ve been into over 200 workplaces and spoken to thousands of people across the country about their savings and what we’ve found is that with the right approach and a bit of energy people will open up and ultimately leave conversations empowered about their savings.
“Having the investment, resource and backing from a huge global financial services provider like Aegon just means we can do more of this fantastic work. We can help more people and service more clients – that’s what excites me. I can’t wait for the next chapter!”
Commenting on the news Mike Holliday-Williams Aegon UK Chief Executive said: “We’ve been massive fans of the Pension Geeks work for a number of years and have seen first-hand how powerful and popular their communications and events are with people. Strategically, customer centricity is a significant focus for us and we’ve invested heavily in member experience and personalised communications recently, so today’s acquisition further strengthens our capability in these areas.
“We’re keen they retain the independence that has made the business the success it is today and it will therefore operate separately to the main business but with the ability to draw on the investment and resource it needs to grow. We think there’s a lot we can learn from the work the Pension Geeks have done in recent years and ultimately believe our partnership will help improve our customers’ financial wellbeing.”
Head of PR
Notes to Editors
- In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to over three million customers. Aegon employs around 2,000 people in the UK and together with a further 800 people employed by Atos, we serve the needs of our customers. More information: www.aegon.co.uk
- Aegon’s roots go back more than 175 years – to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international company, with businesses in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Today, Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organisations, providing life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon’s purpose is to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security. More information on www.aegon.com
- Figures correct, January 2021