Athora Netherlands to assume sponsorship of WTW Netherlands PPI (known as LifeSight PPI)
This document is intended to provide further information for clients, advisers, and external
suppliers on the proposed transaction between Athora Netherlands and WTW in relation to its
Netherlands PPI vehicle.
What was announced?
WTW and the Trustee Board have signed an agreement with Athora Netherlands to transfer the sponsorship of WTW’s Netherlands Premium Pension Institution (PPI) vehicle (known as LifeSight PPI).
When is the transaction expected to close?
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close early 2023.
New sponsor details
Who is Athora Netherlands?
Athora Group is a specialised insurance and reinsurance group fully focused on the European market. In April 2020, Athora Group acquired VIVAT N.V. (now Athora Netherlands), the fourth largest insurer and second largest life insurer in the Netherlands. Athora Netherlands is active in the Dutch insurance market through the well-known insurance brands Zwitserleven and Reaal.
Athora Netherlands has approximately 2 million customers, about 1,200 employees and assets under management of EUR 64 billion. Athora Netherlands sees the PPI market as a key strategic growth area for them for the future and are investing in their PPI business, to grow its position as a leading provider in the Dutch market.
Zwitserleven was established in 1901 and has become one of the leading pension insurers in the Netherlands. Zwitserleven has repeatedly won awards for the most sustainable investment policy in the Netherlands.
Reaal offers life insurance and mortgages and aims to improve the financial resilience of customers by helping them make informed choices about their financial situation.
Since April 2, 2020, the property & casualty business that trades under the Reaal brand has been acquired by NN Group. Reaal, with its (individual) life and mortgage products, continues to be a brand of Athora Netherlands.
Why was Athora Netherlands selected as the new sponsor for the WTW Netherlands PPI?
Athora Netherlands is a well-established company in the market with the strongest brand (Zwitserleven) in the PPI market, according to the independent Motivaction rankings. It has expressed a desire to grow its PPI business and sees the WTW PPI as a key component of that growth because of our innovative PPI proposition. As a Dutch-based, fully dedicated pension and life specialist with a long history in the market and a long-standing position as leader in sustainability, it has a deep understanding of the local market and is well positioned to take advantage of the regulatory transition in the Dutch pension market.
We believe this transaction is a great opportunity for the future of the PPI as it provides a sponsor who can accelerate its growth and deliver excellent opportunities for our clients, participants and people. Athora Netherlands is well placed to deliver these objectives as they aim to become the leading pension provider in the Dutch market and will build on their 120 years of experience and knowledge of the market and a solid distribution footprint.
With its growth focus, strong reputation and deep local experience, we strongly believe Athora Netherlands and its Zwitserleven brand are the right way forward for members, clients and the WTW PPI’s future.
What will happen to the WTW Netherlands PPI (known as LifeSight PPI)?
Until the transaction closes, the LifeSight PPI and Athora Netherlands will continue to operate as separate and independent organisations. That means it’s business as usual at LifeSight PPI. We won’t begin interacting with Athora or sharing client information at this time. We will not initiate any changes to our current relationship, team or our current commitment to providing the exceptional service you have come to expect from us.
Athora Netherlands has an established brand, Zwitserleven, in the Dutch market.
Upon close of the proposed transaction, Athora Netherlands intends to operate the WTW Netherlands PPI unchanged and separately from its own Zwitserleven PPI, while it works towards a comprehensive integration that brings the best of both PPIs together in 2023, increasing the services available for participants at retirement. For now, it remains business as usual with respect to our WTW Netherlands PPI priorities, clients, participants and people.
What is driving this change?
WTW reviewed the requirements to accelerate the PPI’s future growth in the face of a changing pensions and fast-evolving legislative environment. Recognising the value of scale in meeting those requirements, we determined the optimal future strategy was to explore a new sponsor.
Having assessed the market, we strongly believe Athora Netherlands is the right new sponsor for the PPI’s clients, participants, people and the PPI’s next stage of growth. As part of Athora Netherlands, the PPI will also be able to leverage its brand and vast network of intermediaries and advisors in the market.
What will happen to the Trustee Board?
The Trustee Board have been actively involved in selecting and approving the new sponsor. They strongly believe Athora Netherlands is the right new sponsor for the PPI’s clients, participants, people and the PPI’s next stage of growth.
The Trustee Board will continue to look after the best interests of participants. Once the transaction closes, Athora Netherlands intends to operate the WTW PPI separately from its own Zwitserleven PPI, while it works towards a comprehensive integration that brings the best of both PPIs together in 2023. The Trustee Board will continue to play a vital role in protecting client and participant best interests during the integration process. For now, it remains business as usual with respect to our WTW PPI priorities, clients, participants and people.
Do we plan to divest LifeSight in other markets?
No. WTW remains committed to investing in and growing LifeSight in these markets, in line with our longterm plan and overall strategy. LifeSight has successful businesses in the UK, Ireland and Belgium with immediate growth opportunities.
Is WTW still committed to the Dutch Retirement market?
It is also important to note that WTW remains totally committed to the Dutch Retirement market. We will continue to invest in innovations and new capabilities to meet the changing needs of our clients and the pension market. Beyond supporting our Dutch clients transitioning to new pension regulations in the near term, we are confident that the unique breadth of our Health, Wealth & Career value proposition will continue to be best-in-class.
How will this transaction support the Netherlands PPI’s growth?
We believe Athora Netherlands is the right choice for the WTW PPI’s next stage of growth. Athora Netherlands intends to operate the PPI separately from its own Zwitserleven PPI while it works towards a comprehensive integration that brings the best of both PPIs together in 2023. This will include offering new retirement products for participants.
We believe this transaction is a great opportunity for the future of the PPI as it provides a sponsor who can leverage the strong Zwitserleven brand and deliver excellent opportunities for the PPI’s clients, colleagues, members and people.
Your PPI participants
Will our PPI participants be informed?
Yes. Participants have been informed about the transaction by a news alert on their online portal (called MijnLifeSight).
Will there be any changes to the service or support that our PPI members receive?
No. There will be no changes to any of the services received by members. They will continue to interact with us in the same way as usual. Once the transaction closes, Athora Netherlands will take over the service and will provide members with further information.
Will we see any immediate changes in our point of contact?
No. Your main point of contact will remain unchanged, and once the transaction closes, the WTW Netherlands PPI team will transfer their employment to Athora Netherlands and will continue as your point of contact.
Will our contract need to be amended or novated?
There will be no need to amend or novate contracts as these do not involve WTW. The PPI Trust will remain your contract partner.
How will this impact the Netherlands PPI’s working relationship with WTW?
For now, it remains business as usual with respect to our WTW PPI priorities, clients, participants and people. Colleagues in the WTW PPI team remain focused on serving clients and participants with excellence. The WTW PPI team will transfer their employment to Athora Netherlands once the transaction closes and will continue to work within their current roles for the foreseeable future.
What will happen to your administration service?
We confirm there will be no change to the administration service for the foreseeable future.