Aegon is an international provider of life insurance, pensions and asset management. Aegon is active in more than 25 countries around the world.[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 some hedge fund and indexed fund investments, nor to assets managed on behalf of customers (unless they mandate Aegon to do so). External asset managers are required to comply with the policy. However, the policy is not applied to existing.[vi]
Aegon uses a public exclusion list, based on research from external advisors MSCI ESG Research and Sustainalytics.[vii] As of January 2015, Aegon excludes 20 companies for involvement in production of controversial weapons: Aeroteh; Alliant Techsystems; Ashot Ashkelon; BEML; Bharat; China Aerospace; China North Industries; Elbit Systems; GenCorp[viii]; General Dynamics; Hanwha; IHI; Korea Aerospace; Larsen & Toubro; Poongsan; Poongsan Holdings; Singapore Technologies; Textron; Tata and Walchandnagar.[ix]
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,
[i] AEGON, “At a Glance”, website AEGON (http://www.aegon.com/en/Home/About/At-a-glance/), viewed 15 May 2015.
[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 15 May 2015.
[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 15 May 2015.
[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 15 May 2015.
[vii] AEGON, written reponse to PAX, dated 17 April 2015.
[viii] GenCorp renamed itself in 2015 and is now called Aerojet Rocketdyne.
[ix] AEGON, “AEGON N.V. Responsible Investment Policy – Exclusion January 2015” website AEGON (http://www.aegon.com/Documents/aegon-com/Sustainable/AEGON-N-V-Responsible-Investment-Policy-Exclusions-List.pdf), viewed 24 August 2015.