We’ve chosen Future Fit as our theme for this year’s Review. We know that, to adjust to a world of exciting new technologies, we need to change not only what we do, but also how we do it.
Future Fit is also the name of our own cultural transformation program made up by four distinct areas:
- Acting as One – means sharing ideas and building on others' achievements within Aegon.
- Accountability – standing up and owning problems and solutions.
- Agility – adapting quickly to new opportunities.
- Customer Centricity – brings the three other areas together, putting customers at the center of our decisions, and making sure that, with digitization, we're still a people business, focused on helping our customers achieve a lifetime of financial security.
Future Fit, we believe, will change Aegon for the better; the program will help us seize new opportunities, identify areas of growth, making Aegon fit for the future.
Acting as One
"Acting as One means... No Limits. We're stronger together."
One of the advantages of having a global business is that individual units can learn from each other. Which is why we encourage cross-border cooperation as much as we can. In Brazil, for example, Mongeral Aegon is tapping into our US marketing expertise to improve analysis of its customer base. We're also bringing our asset management businesses in the UK and the Netherlands closer together, giving them a single management structure and integrating operations. In Hungary, meanwhile, we're introducing new data-driven underwriting, based on models developed in the US. Building on others' ideas helps us save costs, identify new business opportunities and improve customer service.
We now operate in more than 20 countries around the world. Our main businesses are in the US, Netherlands and UK, but we have growing businesses in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
"Owning the problem, the solution and the end-result. Take responsibility"
Our societies are aging rapidly, with all the economic and social consequences that brings. Clearly, as a pension company, we have a key role to play. That's why we're putting more resources into research through our Center for Longevity and Retirement, and our institutes in the US and Brazil. It's also why we're investing in elderly care homes in both the UK and the Netherlands. In the US, with rising healthcare costs, we're putting particular emphasis on wealth + health – helping customers live well and live healthily.
Globally, we're not saving enough for retirement. The World Economic Forum estimates that, by 2050, the shortfall will be around $400 trillion – $137 trillion in the US alone.
Source: World Economic Forum (May 20171).
"Looking at things in a different way. Think differently."
In several of our businesses, we're using financial robotics to speed up customer service. For example, in the Netherlands, for customers getting divorced it used to take two and a half hours to update our systems with new personal details. We've cut that down to just 20 minutes. We're also looking at automating more complicated processes: one possibility is the process we use to register new company pension plans in the UK. If successful, robotics could cut processing times in this area by a remarkable 75%. In the US, meanwhile, our SNAP initiative is doing the same with both case management and underwriting. Agility also means doing business differently, which is why we're simplifying our operations, making them more flexible and bringing them closer to our customers.
Based in the US, Transamerica Ventures has nearly $140 million to invest in start-ups and new technologies. It focuses on several areas, including fintech, Big Data and analytics, digital marketing, social media and IT. By the end of 2017, it had made 16 separate investments.
"Combining digital with a human touch. Delight customers."
Last year, we launched Pulse – a project aimed at making our customer contact centers future fit. The first step of the new project was to assess current levels of service and identify priorities for improvement. Since then, we've been looking at ways to speed up our processes – through voice recognition technology, for instance, or new, more advanced chatbots. Thanks to these new technologies, customers get faster service – and our customer service reps get more time to provide a personal touch where it's most needed.
We've seen a big improvement in our customer loyalty scores over the past few years. Sixty-one percent of our businesses now rank in the top 50% for customer loyalty in their respective markets.
1. Estimate covers the following countries: US, UK, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, China and India.