BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink calls upon business leaders to take up their responsibility and help address pressing social and economic issues. Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts shares his concerns.
Governments and employers have indeed withdrawn from their traditional responsibility to offer social protection. I have often expressed my concerns about this trend as many are not prepared financially for the realities of the future. Already we have seen dramatic examples of people outliving their financial resources. These examples, which are sometimes very personal, really move me, simply because it is our purpose as a company to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security.
As an industry, we cannot fully assume that responsibility from governments and employers, however, we cannot relinquish that responsibility either. Therefore we make our customers aware of the need to financially prepare for their retirement years so that financial security is within their reach.
We also have a broader role to play towards our employees, our communities and wider society. Aegon engages with policy makers to assist them in delivering better legislation. Since 2011, we have also shared our unique insights with policy makers that are taken from the Aegon retirement surveys.
In addition to preparing our customers for the future, we are also making the necessary changes for the future. We are structurally adapting the company and we have invested in digital technology and data analytics to offer tailored, more relevant solutions for our customers. We communicate with our customers in the way they prefer, which is increasingly digital, especially for those who cannot afford financial advice.
Although, digitization and data analytics create opportunities and insights, these advances also come with the responsibility to treat data with the utmost security and care. To address this issue, Aegon has implemented and maintains stringent data privacy policies to ensure we can meet current and future requirements.
Furthermore, I fully support Laurence Fink's view on long-term growth. It means striking a balance between implementing our long-term strategy and delivering on our promises to generate returns on capital and realize sustainable dividend growth. It is essential, more than ever, to deliver on our purpose to help people achieve a lifetime of financial security, and to serve society and the communities we are part of.