Aegon is an international provider of life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon is active in more than 20 countries around the world. As of 31 June 2016, Aegon has around €717 billion in assets under administration.[i]
Aegon’s Responsible Investment Policy, dating from 2011, states: “Aegon recognizes international consensus in excluding investments from its GA (General Account) associated with: companies directly involved in the manufacture, development, trading and maintenance of: […] Nuclear weapons involving countries outside the scope of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”[ii] Aegon does not exclude companies for involvement with nuclear weapons if the activities are in NPT member states.
Aegon defines nuclear weapons as “an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion and this category includes but is not limited to: nuclear warheads; intercontinental ballistic missiles and corresponding air- and land-based delivery platforms; and ballistic missile submarines which are capable of delivering nuclear warheads.”[iii] Aegon thus also excludes specifically designed delivery systems.
The policy is applied to investments from Aegon’s General Account, which consists of funds held for the insurance company’s own account, and shareholders’ funds available for investment.[iv]
In The Netherlands, the exclusion policy is applied to all asset classes.[v] In jurisdictions outside The Netherlands the policy is not applied to assets managed on behalf of customers (unless they mandate Aegon to do so). External asset managers are required to comply with the policy.[vi]
Aegon uses a public exclusion list, based on research from external advisors MSCI ESG Research and Sustainalytics.[vii] As of July 2016, Aegon excluded 18 companies and all their subsidiaries for association with controversial weapons: Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.; Aeroteh S.A.; Ashot Ashkelon; BEML Limited; Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited; China Aerospace International Holdings Ltd; China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation; China North Industries Group Corporation; Elbit Systems Ltd.; General Dynamics Corporation; Hanwha Corporation; Larsen & Toubro Ltd.; Orbital ATK, Inc.; Poongsan Corporation; Poongsan Holdings Corporation; Textron; The Tata Power Company Limited and Walchandnagar Industries Limited.[viii]
Aegon was also found to have several investments in nuclear weapon producing companies identified by this report, more information can be found in the Hall of Shame.
We commend Aegon for adopting a public policy on nuclear weapons. We recommend Aegon apply its policy to nuclear weapons producing companies regardless of their country of origin. It should also apply the policy to all financial products including all asset classes in jurisdictions outside The Netherlands and apply its policy to all assets managed for customers globally. We look forward to engaging with Aegon, so a strong and comprehensively applied policy may be listed in the Hall of Fame in a future update of this report.
Aegon's policy on nuclear weapons is leaky; let's fix it!Read the petition
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Congratulations Aegon. I saw on www.dontbankonthebomb.com that you have a policy limiting investments in nuclear weapons. I think it’s really important that you share my concern about these weapons, and I appreciate that there is a public policy.
However, the policy does have some loopholes and the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report shows how you still might invest in nuclear weapons producers. I am concerned about this, because Aegon also invests my money and I don’t want to be associated in any way with the production of these inhumane weapons.
It would be great if Aegon made the following changes to make the policy airtight:
• Apply the policy to nuclear weapons producing companies regardless of their country of origin;
• Apply the policy to all financial products including all asset classes in jurisdictions outside the Netherlands;
• Apply the policy to all assets managed for customers globally.
With kind regards,
[ii] AEGON, “AEGON N.V. Responsible Investment Policy”, November 2011, page 6, available at www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Sustainable/AEGON-N-V-Responsible-Investment-Policy.pdf, viewed 30 September 2016.
[iii] AEGON, written response to PAX dated 17 April 2015.
[iv] AEGON, “AEGON N.V. Responsible Investment Policy”, November 2011, page 1, available at www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Sustainable/AEGON-N-V-Responsible-Investment-Policy.pdf, viewed 30 September 2016.
[v] AEGON, written response to PAX dated 17 April 2015.
[vi] AEGON, “AEGON N.V. Responsible Investment Policy”, November 2011, page 2. Available at http://www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Sustainable/AEGON-N-V-Responsible-Investment-Policy.pdf, viewed 30 September 2016.
[vii] AEGON, written response to PAX, dated 17 April 2015.
[viii] AEGON, “AEGON N.V. Responsible Investment Policy – Exclusion July 2016” website AEGON (http://www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Sustainable/AEGON-N-V-Responsible-Investment-Policy-Exclusions-List.pdf), viewed 30 September 2016.