Aegon bought Cofunds from UK insurer L&G for £140m (€164m, $172m) in August.
It marks the third transaction between the firms following Legal & General’s acquisition of Aegon’s £2.9bn back book annuity portfolio and the five year distribution agreement to provide individual annuities to Aegon pension customers.
“Today marks the start of a new era for both Aegon and Cofunds. The completion takes us a major step further in our transition from traditional life company to fully-fledged platform business,” said Aegon chief executive Adrian Grace.
He added that the company would stop competing with financial advisers and instead focus on helping intermediaries grow their business, grow their profitability and manage their risk and costs effectively.”
In a similar move in November, international life company RL360° announced that it would acquire Rowan Dartington’s global platform business Ardan International in a bid to boost its distribution overseas.
Board of advisers
Aegon said it plans to combine and improve its existing platform with Cofunds, which will include cutting down on the use of paper, expanding the product range as well as offering advisers what it calls “straight through processing”.
In the second half of 2017, Aegon said current Cofunds users will have access to a wider product range including exchange traded funds, investment trusts, shares and an integrated pensions.
A board of more than 20 firms representing intermediaries has been appointed to help guide Aegon’s development of the platform.
At a December 2016 meeting, the board heard Aegon will opt to upgrade the technology used rather than build a new platform in order to make quicker improvements, and it will also ensure all user log-ins remain the same.
Grace added: “By discussing our approach and progress with intermediaries from the outset we aim to deliver a platform that they feel invested in for the benefit of their business and their clients. While we recognise we have a big task at hand which needs to be handled with care, it represents a fantastic opportunity to work with intermediaries to shape the future of the platform industry.”
Aegon users will also be able to use more Cofunds features such as pre-funding of trades, debit card use and a better investment selection process.
Cofunds will continue to be led by David Hobbs and be run from its headquarters in Witham, Essex.