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AUM in Action

Aegon Default Fund Gets ESG, Private Markets Revamp

Aegon is due to overhaul its main UK workplace pension fund, with new ESG and private market strategies. The Netherlands-based company, a major presence in the UK workplace pensions sector, said the changes would apply to its £12 billion (US$15.25 billion) Universal Balanced Collection fund. BlackRock will manage an ESG integrated passive equities and bonds strategy with a year-on-year decarbonisation target from Q4 of this year on behalf of Aegon. The US fund management giant will also manage Aegon’s diversified alternative private markets strategy, which will include private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure. Aegon will manage its own credit investments, including global high-yield, asset-backed securities and emerging market debt. It will also manage a private debt and alternative fixed-income fund from early 2025, pending regulatory approvals. Lorna Blyth, Aegon’s Managing Director for Investment Proposition, said the new strategy “aligns with our commitment to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for our full range of default funds by 2050, and to a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030”. She added: “It also significantly supports our desire to invest £500 million in climate solutions by 2026; investments that directly contribute to climate change mitigation and/or adaption. We expect many of these solutions to come from unlisted equities, which aligns with our Mansion House Compact aim to invest at least 5% of our default fund assets in unlisted equities by 2030.”

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