Aegon Ireland’s parent of 5 months spun off by its Bermuda parent

Ager Bermuda Holding Ltd, which acquired Dublin-based Aegon Ireland plc last year, has been spun off by its Bermuda-based parent, Athene Holding Ltd.

The “de-consolidation” follows a “successful capital raising” last April that netted approximately  €2.2bn, and which “laid the foundation for growth in Europe and was an important step toward Ager’s goal of becoming the premier European run-off consolidator and life reinsurance partner,” New York Stock Exchange-listed Athene said in a statement on Monday.

Ager will rebrand as Athora Holding Ltd, effective this month, to reflect what Athene said would reflect its “expanded capabilities” as well as the “exciting direction” it is taking. Although the holding company will remain in Bermuda, the main administrative offices will be located in London, with major outposts in Wiesbaden, Germany and Dublin, a company spokesperson said.

Ager’s management team will remain unchanged, with Michele Bareggi continuing to head it up as group managing partner, responsible for financial and investment oversight functions, as well as being chairman of the executive committee.

Ager is a specialist in the European life run-off market, which it operates as a holding company of a network of subsidiaries. Its business involves offering insurance companies a facility for monetising their  legacy portfolios, in such a way that these companies’ policyholders’ needs are properly looked after, according to the company.

As reported, Ager announced its intention to acquire Aegon Ireland last August. In it statement on Monday, Athene said Aegon expected to close on that acquisition in the first quarter of 2018.

Under the de-consolidation arrangement, Athene will remain a minority shareholder in Ager, alongside such other global investors as Apollo Global Management, a  NYSE-listed, New York-based private equity group.

Additionally, Athene will be a preferred reinsurer for Ager’s spread liabilities and have representation on its board of directors, Athene said.

Ager’s principal operating subsidiary remains  Wiesbaden-based Athene Lebensversicherung AG, which had around €5bn in invested assets at the end of 2016, Athene said. The company has been in run-off since 2010.

Ager also offers management services through a London subsidiary.

Athene, which floated in New York in December 2016, said at the time it announced its intention to acquire Aegon Ireland last year that it was looking to make acquisitions in Europe, where insurance companies were seen to be under pressure and there were thought to be insurance run-off business opportunities to be had.

Aegon SEI

Aegon Ireland formerly was known as Aegon Scottish Equitable International, or Aegon SEI, and before that, simply as SEI. It moved to Dublin from Luxembourg in 2001, when it took the strategic decision to focus on the UK market for offshore bonds. (What remained of the Luxembourg company, SEI SA, closed to new business in 2004, and was subsequently sold to La Mondiale Europartner in 2006.)

By 2007 Aegon SEI was writing some £81m annual premium equivalent of predominantly single-premium business, making it the third-largest player in the IFA market at that time, according to an Acuity Consultants report in 2008.

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