Aegon executives follow ING, waive bonuses

Dutch insurer Aegon, which owes an outstanding €0.75bn to the Netherlands government, has followed a move by ING two weeks ago as members of its executive board decide to waive their bonuses.

After public outrage caused Jan Hommen and the other members of ING’s executive board to forego their bonuses for 2010, CEO of Aegon Alex Wynaendts and his board have decided to follow suit.

Wynaendts will give up a €317,000 cash bonus, while chief financial officer Jan Nooitgedagt will forgo €317,000.

The decision comes in the wake of controversy surrounding Dutch financial services providers that still owe money to the State since they were bailed out during the financial crisis.

Aegon has an outstanding debt of €0.75bn to the Dutch government, although it plans to have the full amount repaid by the end of June 2011.

In its latest annual report for 2010, CFO Nooitgedagt reaffirmed Aegon’s pledge to complete its repayment, suggesting a sale of part of its business may be used as funding.

“Repurchasing the remaining portion of core capital – using internal resources, including any divestments – is a key priority,” he said in a statement.

Selling off further assets will echo efforts by Dutch banking group ING to rebuild, which still owes €5bn of its €10bn bailout. ING is in the process of divesting its insurance and asset management arms from its core banking business.

Aegon is in a healthier position than ING, having had a smaller bailout. While Aegon hopes to repay this year, ING will not have repaid the full amount until May 2012 at the earliest.

Aegon posted €2bn of underlying earnings before tax for 2010, against ING’s underlying net profit of €3.9bn, although that is calculated after tax.

In terms of net income, Aegon generated €2bn, whereas ING brought in €54bn during 2010.

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