LCCG acquires Aegon Ireland’s in’tl bond business to expand Utmost Wealth

Life Company Consolidation Group, the London-based parent of the consolidated life brand Utmost Wealth Solutions, is to acquire Aegon Ireland’s international investment bond business from Athora Holding Ltd, the company said today.

The purchase price and other details of the sale weren’t disclosed.

The deal is subject to the approval of the Irish Court, under which “all policyholders and some employees will transfer to Utmost Ireland dac”, LCCG said in a statement, adding that this process is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Earlier this month Athora Holding completed its acquisition of  Aegon Ireland plc from Aegon NV. As reported, Athora Holding was created in January after being spun-off by its Bermuda-based parent, Athene Holding Ltd, in the wake of the announcement of its plans to acquire Aegon Ireland.

The Aegon Ireland international investment bond portfolio comprises a range of single premium, open architecture, non-guaranteed unit-linked investment bonds distributed primarily through private banks and specialist independent financial advisers to UK residents. In total it looks after more than €3bn (£2.6bn) of client assets across 7,000 policies, according to LCCG.

The Aegon Ireland business will rebrand as Utmost Wealth, which is currently also in the process of acquiring Generali PanEurope “to create a €24bn specialist wealth manager”, LCCG said in its statement announcing the deal.

“The transaction is an important further step towards achieving our near-term target of in excess of €30bn in client assets,” it added.

LCCG was founded in 2013 with the purpose of buying and consolidating life company books across Europe. Its first major acquisition in the offshore life company sector came in April 2016, when it announced it was to acquire the Isle of Man-based offshore investment business of AXA, the Paris-based multinational insurance giant.

Prior to the AXA deal, LCCG acquired Scottish Mutual International from Phoenix Life, in December 2015, and Aviva Life International from Aviva plc.

The company is currently also in the process of acquiring the business of Reliance Mutual Insurance Society Ltd, according to its website, which, it says, “will form the platform for further acquisitions of traditional books of life business in the UK”.

The Utmost Wealth Solutions business operates out of offices in Ireland and the Isle of Man, and currently looks after policyholder assets of around €13bn.

In a statement today, LCCG group chief executive and co-founder Paul Thompson, pictured, said the planned acquisition of Aegon Ireland, coming so soon after that of General PanEurope, “demonstrates our continued commitment to the international life market, and further cements our position as a formidable force in the European market for specialist cross border wealth management solutions”.

Aegon: Peripatetic history

The company that LCCG is acquiring, and which is now known as Aegon Ireland, has had a relatively lively history, by the standards of insurance companies. It used to be 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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