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By Ian Walker
Aegon N.V. (AEG) said Thursday it was on track to reach its financial targets and return 2.1 billion euros ($2.25 billion) to shareholders by the end of 2018, as the Dutch insurer announced plans to accelerate the restructuring of its U.S. business.
As part of the restructuring, Aegon, which owns U.S. insurer Transamerica, will exit its Affinity, Direct TV and Direct Mail channels in the U.S. It expects around 500 jobs to go.
At a conference in New York, Aegon said it aimed to reduce its annual operating expenses by EUR350 million by year-end 2018, up from its original target of EUR200 million.
Its original $150 million expense savings plan in the U.S. will be completed in 2017, one year ahead of schedule, Aegon said. It has doubled that target to $300 million by the end of 2018, to be achieved by a further cut in positions, closure of locations and a more efficient use of technology and outsourcing capabilities.
The company has also accelerated a five-part plan to boost growth in its target markets of wealth and health-related products and solutions.
During 2016, Aegon returned EUR950 million to shareholders of the targeted EUR2.1 billion of capital over the 2016-2018 period. It plans to return the rest through growing dividends, supported by its solid capital position and capital generation.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 08, 2016 08:21 ET (13:21 GMT)
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