Aegon and the University of Edinburgh have announced a partnership in a bid to develop a new approach to financial engagement.
The ‘knowledge transfer partnership’ will last for two years and will see experts from Aegon, the Edinburgh Futures Institute, and the Business School of the university collaborate.
Together they are seeking to examine how connecting with the future can improve savers’ relationship with money. It will incorporate insights from anthropology and neuroscience to see how people can be helped to develop a more concrete picture of their future selves.
This will involve aiding savers to understand how they want their future to look like in both a financial and non-financial sense, including how they want to spend their time and who they spend it with. The theory is that savers who connect with their future self are more likely to adapt their behaviour.
Aegon chief marketing officer Andy Manson said the project was underpinned by the firm’s “clear sense of purpose” to help improve financial security and a feeling of control over the future.
He added: “The aim of the project is to get people thinking about their relationship with money on a whole new level. Having a tool that helps customers picture their future selves will be transformational in helping them engage with their long-term savings.”
It follows the provider’s Financial Wellbeing Index, which when published in March found a concrete picture increased the chance of a saver becoming a “top contributor”.
Edinburgh Futures Institute director for industry, economy and society Professor Gbenga Ibikunle said: “The Edinburgh Futures Institute connects researchers from a range of disciplines to address major industry challenges in a range of sectors, including the financial services sector.
“Improving financial wellbeing is one of our main focus areas, and we are therefore excited to partner with Aegon to help create the tools and interventions that will ultimately help millions of their customers better plan for their financial futures.”