Aegon

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!

Congratulations Aegon!

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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,

Or :

Tweet: Even @aegon knows investing in #nuclear weapons should be restricted. Strengthen the policy & say #goodbyenukes! http://ctt.ec/e_m6Y+

 

Website: Twitter: Facebook:
www.aegon.com/Home/ @aegon www.facebook.com/Aegon

 

[i] AEGON, “At a Glance”, website AEGON (http://www.aegon.com/en/Home/About/At-a-glance/), viewed 30 September 2016. AEGON written correspondence with PAX, 29 November 2016.

[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.

Runners-up

Who divests?

Policy Research

The financial institutions presented all have publicly available policies – or summaries thereof – excluding investments in nuclear weapons producing companies. Since the banking group usually sets the investment policy and since the group directly or indirectly supervises its subsidiaries, we research the group policy only.

The Hall of Fame section highlights financial institutions that have comprehensive policies preventing investments in nuclear weapon producers. These policies meet all of the criteria.
The Runners-Up provides information on existing policies and makes recommendations for how to strengthen them.

Criteria:

Hall of Fame finanical institution policies policy must:

1. Exclude all nuclear weapon associated companies

The policy excludes:

  • whole companies not only nuclear weapons related projects
  • companies associated with nuclear weapons including through joint ventures
  • companies regardless of their country of origin
  • companies regardless their country of operation

2. Exclude all nuclear weapon associated activities

The policy excludes companies associated with:

  • development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services, and;
  • delivery systems such as missiles, that are specifically developed for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms such as bombers and submarines.

3. Apply to all the institution’s products and services

The institution applies the policy:

  • for the entire Group, including subsidiaries
  • in all markets
  • to all asset management classes – passive and active, internal and external.
  • to all existing and future investments.

The financial institutions in the Hall of Fame have not engaged in any financial relationships with any of the nuclear weapon associated companies listed in this report. The policies of over 80 financial institutions were analysed for this report.

Runners-Up are financial institutions whose nuclear weapons policy does not meet all of the above criteria .

Methodology

To identify financial institutions with a policy on nuclear weapons, we research a variety of sources: NGO reports, screening-agency information, financial institution reports and websites, information from campaigners and other public sources. For practical reasons, the scope of this report is limited to those financial institutions that have an investment policy or a summary of that policy in English. The list of institutions in the Hall of Fame is not exhaustive. We welcome additions from those able to provide them.

For the purposes of this report, nuclear weapon producers are defined as companies that produce key components to test, develop, maintain, modernise and deploy nuclear weapons. There are countless companies involved in the broad nuclear weapons complex, and this report only details those most heavily involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems (such as missiles and launch tubes). The report does not include companies involved in the production of delivery platforms (such as nuclear capable bombers and submarines).

In advance of this report, all financial institutions were asked to fill in a standardised questionnaire with detailed questions on the scope and content of their policies. Financial institutions that did not respond are not included. Of the thirteen financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame, six publish a list of companies that they exclude from their investment universe. The companies excluded are listed in the profiles of the financial institutions as a resource. Three other financial institutions in the Hall of Fame work with an inclusion list rather than an exclusion list. The remaining four do not make their lists public.

Each financial institution profile in the Hall of Fame includes a brief description of the institution, a summary of key policy elements, and the exclusion list if applicable. We researched investments in companies on our producers list for each of the financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame. None of the financial institutions listed in the Hall of Fame invest in any of the 26 identified nuclear weapon producers.