Serco Group plc (Serco), the international service company, and AEGON, the leading life and pensions company, are announcing exclusive talks to finalise a 10-year outsourcing partnership to provide a range of customer contact and support services for its UK-based protection business. Expected to start in the fourth quarter of the year, it marks Serco's entry into this important segment of the financial services market.
This is the latest development for Serco following the creation earlier this year of its global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business, which employs over 50,000 people and serves more than 150 customers in a range of industries across 10 countries. It strengthens Serco's position in the UK financial services BPO market, and follows the recent appointment by general insurance giant esure to manage sales and service enquiries at its contact centre in Manchester.
Under this new partnership Serco will operate primarily from AEGON's offices in Lytham St Annes, which Serco plans to establish as a centre of excellence delivering BPO services to other customers following the transfer of some 330 members of staff.
The agreement is expected to see Serco deliver a wide range of life and pensions services for AEGON. These include managing all aspects of the customer journey from initial underwriting through to claims management for the AEGON Individual Protection (AIP) suite, which comprises a full portfolio of life assurance, critical illness, disability and income protection products. Serco will also look after all aspects of policy servicing and claims for some small 'closed books' of pension and life assurance policies that are no longer sold but require ongoing management. It will also work closely with AEGON to deliver business process improvement and customer service excellence through the use of Serco's advanced cloud technology, internet telephony (VoIP), CRM and call centre software. Serco is in the process of extending its FSA permissions to include life and pensions business.Read more
According to Adrian Grace, UK CEO of AEGON, "Our strategy with the UK business, which is in line with AEGON's global strategy, is to develop our protection business to be one of the leading UK protection providers. We are committed to providing first class customer service with cost-efficient operations, and partnering with Serco will provide this for us. We remain committed to building our UK business focusing on our chosen markets of workplace savings and at-retirement, of which our individual protection business is a core part."
Tom Riall, Chief Executive of Serco Global Services, added: "We are excited by the opportunity to take over responsibility for delivering customer services for AEGON's protection business. Serco brings our substantial experience in outsourcing, supported by the passionate commitment of our people to delivering tangible improvement for AEGON and its customers. "This represents a further significant development in our growing global BPO business, following on from recent important wins in the healthcare, retail, travel and insurance sectors. It is a further validation of our strategy that is already successfully enabling Serco to add value to our customers by helping them deliver ever-greater service and value to their own customers."