Joint venture to initially focus on variable annuities, operations are expected to begin by year end

The life insurance joint venture between AEGON and Sony Life has obtained final approval from the Japanese regulatory authorities to launch business operations later this year. The 50-50 joint venture, AEGON Sony Life Insurance (ASLI), is expected to initially focus on the sale of variable annuity products which will be distributed through Sony Life’s ‘Lifeplanner’ sales employees, as well as banks and other financial institutions.

Sony Life regards the partnership, established in 2007, as an opportunity to further strengthen its ‘Lifeplanner’ distribution network, particularly by broadening the range of financial products available to customers in Japan. For AEGON, the joint venture with Sony Life marks another step in expanding its operations in Asia. In recent years, the company has built up operations in both China and India, where economic growth and rising levels of personal wealth have led to increased demand for life insurance, pensions and other long-term investment products.

Alex Wynaendts, CEO of AEGON, said: We believe that the market for variable annuities in Japan offers strong prospects for growth over the long-term. By combining our product knowledge and risk management expertise with Sony Life’s highly respected brand name and distribution capabilities, we are in a strong position to maximize the opportunities of the Japanese market.

Taro Okuda, president of Sony Life, said: We established ASLI as a life insurance company which focuses and specializes in annuity products. Through the operations of ASLI, we shall fully enter into the bancassurance business in Japan. At the same time, annuity products produced by ASLI will make Sony Life’s ‘Lifeplanner’ sales employees offer all the more solid financial services for the customers.