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BREAKING NEWS

NN Group chief Friese to move to rival Aegon next year

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – NN Group <NN.AS> Chief Executive Lard Friese will move to rival Dutch insurer Aegon <AEGN.AS> next year to succeed Alex Wynaendts as CEO, both companies said on Monday.

Friese has left NN Group with immediate effect and will be succeeded by its head of Dutch activities David Knibbe from Oct. 1.

Friese, who led NN Group since it was carved out of ING <INGA.AS> in 2014, will join Aegon on March 1 and is set to become its CEO at a shareholder meeting on May 15.

NN Group is the largest insurer in the Netherlands, while Aegon has the majority of its business in the United States, where it owns life insurance company Transamerica.

Wynaendts, 60, has been Aegon’s CEO since 2007, and was reappointed for a new four-year term earlier this year.

In the past five years Aegon shares have lost around 40% of their value as the company’s earnings were hit by low interest rates and rising regulatory costs.

Meanwhile NN shares gained over 50% since their listing in Amsterdam in 2014, as the company looked to grow its business in the Netherlands, where it bought smaller rival Delta Lloyd for 2.5 billion euros (£2.3 billion) in 2016.

NN was split off from ING in 2014 as a condition for the state aid the Dutch lender received during the financial crisis.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Tom Hogue and David Holmes)

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