It is our objective to maintain and further develop good corporate governance, to be a leader in our chosen markets, to optimize our resources, to invest in new growth, and to return value to our shareholders.
Aegon is traded both on the Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange, where we celebrated the 25th year of our listing in 2016. Around 37% of our shares are held by investors in the US, which is home to our largest business, Transamerica.
Our largest shareholder, with approximately 14.4% of voting rights – is Vereniging Aegon, an association that safeguards the interests of Aegon and its stakeholders.
Other significant shareholders are Dodge & Cox, BlackRock and Franklin Resources, each holding voting rights of over 3%. Institutional investors such as banks, insurance companies, pensions, hedge and mutual funds, owned approximately 78% of our shares at the end of 2016.
Every year, our Investor Relations team, as well as senior management, meet with hundreds of investors and analysts. We hold regular conferences and webinars to provide updates on our performance and strategy and we publish this Review – which sets out our financial and non-financial information. As an integrated report, it is our intention that this publication presents a comprehensive overview of our value creation chain, and how Aegon creates long-term value for all its stakeholders.
Our dividend was up 4% to €0.26 per share in 2016
Our market capitalization was €10.6 billion at the end of 2016
Our target capital return to shareholders
We are acknowledged in the field of integrated reporting. We seek feedback from the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and Eumedion, the Dutch corporate governance and sustainability platform, among others.
Analyst & Investor updates
In January 2016, management provided an update on our strategy and financial ambitions for the period 2016-2018. In December 2016, we reconfirmed our targets and increased our expense savings target.
Our investor conferences are accessible via live webcast, as is our Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, which is held in May each year. In addition, we distribute quarterly updates and a newsletter, which can be subscribed to on aegon.com.
Returning capital to our shareholders
Aegon pays a dividend to shareholders twice a year: an interim dividend announced on the release of its second quarter results and a final dividend after approval of the Annual Accounts at the AGM. In 2016, we completed a €400 million share buyback. We aim to pay €1.7 billion in dividends between 2016-2018 – reflecting a dividend payout ratio of 50% of free cash flows after holding expenses. We plan to return €2.1 billion in total.
Over the last six years, we successfully grew our business, with an average sales growth of 12% per year.
Open for business
Aegon is an example of ‘good practice’ in producing a comprehensive integrated report showing its value creation, operating environment and long-term value creation for stakeholders.Rients Abma, Managing Director of Eumedion
CASE STUDY: A DIALOGUE WITH THE 'GOOD GUARDIAN'
The Dutch corporate governance and sustainability watchdog, Eumedion, represents 65 institutional investors, accounting for more than €5 trillion assets under management. Eumedion, which means ‘good guardian’ in Greek, safeguards shareholder interests in listed companies.
Rients Abma, Managing Director of Eumedion, says interactions with Aegon are constructive. “We meet with the CFO and sometimes the Supervisory Board to raise focus topics for improved reporting and other topical issues. Our participants pose formal questions at the AGM, and initiate productive dialogue.
“Aegon is an example of ‘good practice’ in producing a comprehensive integrated report showing its value creation, operating environment and long-term value creation for stakeholders.”