Edinburgh’s Aegon UK acquires Pension Geeks

Edinburgh-based Aegon UK — owned by Dutch investment giant Aegon NV — said on Wednesday it has acquired Pension Geeks, a business “that specialises in connecting people with their finances through innovative engagement techniques, communication and events.”

Aegon UK said: “The company, which was founded in 2014 by business partners Jonathan Bland and Rachel Parkinson, has become a leader in helping employers and financial services providers build bespoke events and communication programmes to encourage people to engage with their finances.

“Their focus on bringing energy, enthusiasm and simplicity to topics which many people would rather avoid has won them a number of awards and helped them build up a bank of clients who use the company to help explain workplace pensions and increasingly broader topics like financial wellbeing …

“The spark that led to the creation of Pension Geeks came from a conversation between Jonathan and Rachel when discussing their pension savings and the challenges of making sense of their money.

“Jonathan had trained as an animator and had studied under top industry professionals from major studios like Disney and Pixar, while Rachel’s background was in marketing – engaging younger people at the university she was working at.

“Together they agreed there was an opportunity to bring fresh thinking, storytelling and a new perspective to the world of pensions communications.”

Aegon has been working with Grimsby-based Pensions Geeks since 2018 and it said the deal will mean the company’s founders continue to lead the organisation with Pension Geeks remaining operationally independent with its own clients, but with access to investment and resources from Aegon to grow the business.

Bland said: “Today represents a major milestone for the business and I’m thrilled that our future is with a partner that has been instrumental to our growth in recent years.

“Aegon’s commitment to helping customers achieve financial security is so aligned with our mission, so the cultural fit is absolutely perfect for us.

“Part of our success comes from the bold and creative culture we’ve established at Pension Geeks and with Aegon, we will continue to break the status quo with fresh and out of the box thinking when communicating financial topics.

“We’ve been into over 200 workplaces and spoken to thousands of people across the country about their savings and what we’ve found is that with the right approach and a bit of energy people will open up and ultimately leave conversations empowered about their savings.

“Having the investment, resource and backing from a huge global financial services provider like Aegon just means we can do more of this fantastic work.

“We can help more people and service more clients – that’s what excites me.”

Aegon UK CEO Mike Holliday-Williams said: “We’ve been massive fans of the Pension Geeks work for a number of years and have seen first-hand how powerful and popular their communications and events are with people.

“Strategically, customer centricity is a significant focus for us and we’ve invested heavily in member experience and personalised communications recently, so today’s acquisition further strengthens our capability in these areas.

“We’re keen they retain the independence that has made the business the success it is today and it will therefore operate separately to the main business but with the ability to draw on the investment and resource it needs to grow.

“We think there’s a lot we can learn from the work the Pension Geeks have done in recent years and ultimately believe our partnership will help improve our customers’ financial wellbeing.”

 

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.