THE HAGUE, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aegon has set new medium-term financial targets with a focus on growing capital generation and dividends. By safeguarding a strong capital position, Aegon will continue to help millions of people to achieve a lifetime of financial security.
For the years 2019-2021, Aegon aims to achieve the following Group financial targets:
- Capital generation of EUR 4.1 billion cumulatively; excluding market impacts and one-time items, and after holding funding and operating expenses
- Dividend pay-out to shareholders between 45% and 55% of capital generation1)
- Return on shareholders’ equity of more than 10% on an annual basis
For 2019, Aegon expects its units to upstream EUR 1.5 billion in dividends to the holding, including divestment proceeds. This confirms the fungibility of the capital generated and supports a sustainable return to shareholders.
The current capital framework and related target ranges remain unchanged for the years 2019-2021:
- The Solvency II ratio target range remains at 150% to 200%; the 2018 Solvency II ratio amounted to 211%
- Holding excess cash to remain in target zone of EUR 1.0 to 1.5 billion; year-end 2018 level was EUR 1.3 billion
- Gross financial leverage ratio targeted to be between 26% and 30%; year-end 2018 level was 29.2%
- Maintain a capitalization required for a financial strength AA- rating
As of the second half of 2018, Aegon is applying an adjusted capitalization definition. To align closer to definitions used by peers and rating agencies, Aegon has retrospectively changed its internal definition of adjusted shareholders’ equity used in calculating return on equity for the group, return on capital for its units, and the gross financial leverage ratio. Shareholders’ equity will no longer be adjusted for the remeasurement of defined benefit plans. As a result, the gross financial leverage ratio increases by 2.2%-point compared with the old definition. This means that maintaining a 26-30% gross financial leverage ratio effectively implies a more conservative target.
Statement of Alex Wynaendts, CEO
“The new set of financial targets we have announced today is building on the successes we have achieved during the previous three-year target period. Going forward, our focus remains on strong capital generation and providing shareholders with attractive returns.
“Our capital generation is backed by a proactive approach to managing our portfolio of businesses, which we have now grouped into three distinct categories – “Manage for Value”, “Drive for Growth”, and “Scale up for Future” businesses. The first category consists of at-scale businesses, which are mostly spread-based, and we manage these for value in a sustainable way. The vast majority of our investments will be directed to “drive for growth” businesses which are at the core of our strategy as they drive future capital generation. Finally, the third part of our portfolio – “Scale up for Future businesses” – is aiming at capturing meaningful new opportunities.
“This approach allows us to grow profitably, and to create value for all our stakeholders including our customers and shareholders. In this way, we will fulfill our purpose to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security.”
1) Assuming markets move in line with management’s best estimate, no material regulatory changes and no material one-time items other than already announced restructuring programs
Aegon’s roots go back almost 200 years – to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international company, with businesses in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Today, Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations, providing life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon’s purpose is to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security. More information on aegon.com.
Cautionary note regarding non-IFRS-EU measures
This document includes the following non-IFRS-EU financial measures: underlying earnings before tax, income tax, income before tax, market consistent value of new business and return on equity. These non-IFRS-EU measures are calculated by consolidating on a proportionate basis Aegon’s joint ventures and associated companies. Market consistent value of new business is not based on IFRS-EU, which are used to report Aegon’s primary financial statements and should not be viewed as a substitute for IFRS-EU financial measures. Aegon may define and calculate market consistent value of new business differently than other companies. Return on equity is a ratio using a non-IFRS-EU measure and is calculated by dividing the net underlying earnings after cost of leverage by the average shareholders’ equity adjusted for the revaluation reserve. Aegon believes that these non-IFRS-EU measures, together with the IFRS-EU information, provide meaningful supplemental information about the underlying operating results of Aegon’s business including insight into the financial measures that senior management uses in managing the business.
Local currencies and constant currency exchange rates
This document contains certain information about Aegon’s results, financial condition and revenue generating investments presented in USD for the Americas and Asia, and in GBP for the United Kingdom, because those businesses operate and are managed primarily in those currencies. Certain comparative information presented on a constant currency basis eliminates the effects of changes in currency exchange rates. None of this information is a substitute for or superior to financial information about Aegon presented in EUR, which is the currency of Aegon’s primary financial statements.
The statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following are words that identify such forward-looking statements: aim, believe, estimate, target, intend, may, expect, anticipate, predict, project, counting on, plan, continue, want, forecast, goal, should, would, could, is confident, will, and similar expressions as they relate to Aegon. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Aegon undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which merely reflect company expectations at the time of writing. Actual results may differ materially from expectations conveyed in forward-looking statements due to changes caused by various risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the following:
- Changes in general economic and/or governmental conditions, particularly in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;
- Changes in the performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, such as with regard to:
- The frequency and severity of defaults by issuers in Aegon’s fixed income investment portfolios;
- The effects of corporate bankruptcies and/or accounting restatements on the financial markets and the resulting decline in the value of equity and debt securities Aegon holds; and
- The effects of declining creditworthiness of certain public sector securities and the resulting decline in the value of government exposure that Aegon holds;
- Changes in the performance of Aegon’s investment portfolio and decline in ratings of Aegon’s counterparties;
- Consequences of an actual or potential break-up of the European monetary union in whole or in part;
- Consequences of the anticipated exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and potential consequences of other European Union countries leaving the European Union;
- The frequency and severity of insured loss events;
- Changes affecting longevity, mortality, morbidity, persistence and other factors that may impact the profitability of Aegon’s insurance products;
- Reinsurers to whom Aegon has ceded significant underwriting risks may fail to meet their obligations;
- Changes affecting interest rate levels and continuing low or rapidly changing interest rate levels;
- Changes affecting currency exchange rates, in particular the EUR/USD and EUR/GBP exchange rates;
- Changes in the availability of, and costs associated with, liquidity sources such as bank and capital markets funding, as well as conditions in the credit markets in general such as changes in borrower and counterparty creditworthiness;
- Increasing levels of competition in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and emerging markets;
- Changes in laws and regulations, particularly those affecting Aegon’s operations’ ability to hire and retain key personnel, taxation of Aegon companies, the products Aegon sells, and the attractiveness of certain products to its consumers;
- Regulatory changes relating to the pensions, investment, and insurance industries in the jurisdictions in which Aegon operates;
- Standard setting initiatives of supranational standard setting bodies such as the Financial Stability Board and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors or changes to such standards that may have an impact on regional (such as EU), national or US federal or state level financial regulation or the application thereof to Aegon, including the designation of Aegon by the Financial Stability Board as a Global Systemically Important Insurer (G-SII);
- Changes in customer behavior and public opinion in general related to, among other things, the type of products Aegon sells, including legal, regulatory or commercial necessity to meet changing customer expectations;
- Acts of God, acts of terrorism, acts of war and pandemics;
- Changes in the policies of central banks and/or governments;
- Lowering of one or more of Aegon’s debt ratings issued by recognized rating organizations and the adverse impact such action may have on Aegon’s ability to raise capital and on its liquidity and financial condition;
- Lowering of one or more of insurer financial strength ratings of Aegon’s insurance subsidiaries and the adverse impact such action may have on the premium writings, policy retention, profitability and liquidity of its insurance subsidiaries;
- The effect of the European Union’s Solvency II requirements and other regulations in other jurisdictions affecting the capital Aegon is required to maintain;
- Litigation or regulatory action that could require Aegon to pay significant damages or change the way Aegon does business or both;
- As Aegon’s operations support complex transactions and are highly dependent on the proper functioning of information technology, operational risks such as system disruptions or failures, security or data privacy breaches, cyberattacks, human error, failure to safeguard personally identifiable information, changes in operational practices or inadequate controls including with respect to third parties with which we do business may disrupt Aegon’s business, damage its reputation and adversely affect its results of operations, financial condition and cash flows;
- Customer responsiveness to both new products and distribution channels;
- Competitive, legal, regulatory, or tax changes that affect profitability, the distribution cost of or demand for Aegon’s products;
- Changes in accounting regulations and policies or a change by Aegon in applying such regulations and policies, voluntarily or otherwise, which may affect Aegon’s reported results, shareholders’ equity or regulatory capital adequacy levels;
- Aegon’s projected results are highly sensitive to complex mathematical models of financial markets, mortality, longevity, and other dynamic systems subject to shocks and unpredictable volatility. Should assumptions to these models later prove incorrect, or should errors in those models escape the controls in place to detect them, future performance will vary from projected results;
- The impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, product withdrawals and other unusual items, including Aegon’s ability to integrate acquisitions and to obtain the anticipated results and synergies from acquisitions;
- Catastrophic events, either manmade or by nature, could result in material losses and significantly interrupt Aegon’s business; and
- Aegon’s failure to achieve anticipated levels of earnings or operational efficiencies as well as other cost saving and excess cash and leverage ratio management initiatives.
This press release contains information that qualifies, or may qualify, as inside information within the meaning of Article 7(1) of the EU Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014). Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting Aegon are described in its filings with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, Aegon expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Aegon’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.