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Aegon to Name Former Americas CFO Button as Finance Chief

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Aegon NV, the Dutch owner of U.S. insurer Transamerica Corp., plans to name Darryl Button as chief financial officer, succeeding Jan Nooitgedagt.

Button, 43, was finance chief at the insurer’s American operation, which generates most of its profit, for eight years, the Hague-based company said in a statement today. Most recently he was head of Aegon’s Corporate Financial Center, which manages risk, tax, finance and investor relations. The supervisory board will propose his appointment at a meeting on May 15.

Aegon is countering low interest rates and market turmoil by cutting cost and shifting to products that are less sensitive to market volatility. The company plans to boost the share of profit it gets from fee-based businesses, which include unit-linked pensions and variable annuities, to as much as 35 percent by 2015 from 16 percent in 2010 and 33 percent in the third quarter.

Aegon also seeks to increase underlying pretax profit by 7 percent to 10 percent a year on average until 2015.

In the Americas, the percentage derived from fee-based income rose to 26 percent in the first quarter from 15 percent in 2007, according to a presentation by Button and Mark Mullin, chief executive officer of the Americas unit, in June. Since 2009 Aegon has restructured its U.S. operations, cutting back from 12 divisions to three.

Target ‘Focus’

“Nooitgedagt has been instrumental in Aegon’s capital restructuring, yet from now on investors will focus on how the company will reach its 2015 growth targets,” said Jan Willem Weidema, an Amsterdam-based analyst at ABN Amro Bank NV. “This will largely have to come from the U.S. unit and it instills trust that they name a man with eight years of experience in that unit as finance chief.”

Aegon shares rose 0.1 percent to 4.23 euros as of 11:59 a.m. in Amsterdam, giving the company a market value of 8.2 billion euros ($10.5 billion). That compares to a 0.2 percent gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 Insurance Index.

Nooitgedagt, 59, will retire at the end of his current term, the company said. He became CFO in April 2009. During his tenure, the former Ernst & Young LLP partner helped raise capital to repay 3 billion euros in state aid received in 2008. He oversaw the sale of Transamerica Reinsurance to Scor SE in 2011 for $1.4 billion after tax and led restructuring programs in the Netherlands and the U.K.

Aegon also said that Chief Risk Officer Tom Grondin will be appointed to the management board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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