WFGers just love to run on about how "...WFG is owned by Aegon/Transamerica, big Fortune 500 companies...” Like such a big company necessarily anoints WFG and lends it robust legitimacy. How soon we forget Lehman Bros, Arthur Andersen, Bear Stearns...
But guess what guys? That’s most likely wrong! Aegon apparently DOESN'T own WFG after all!
I pored through Aegon's and Transamerica's financial disclosures. They don't say "boo" about WFG. If any of you find that, would you please post links here for us? Thanks.
Then I spoke with a Transamerica rep at 800-Pyramid, Bobbie (sp?) in Florida. She insisted that WFG is “affiliated” with Aegon's Transamerica. But the latter firm doesn’t own it, that WFG is an independent broker-dealer. I asked her this three times, and she insisted this was the case. She claimed to work for (Aegon's) Transamerica for 10 years.
Then I called WFG’s main office in St John’s GA. The min-wage droids there totally stonewalled me. The diction-challenged agents kept telling me “we cain’t speak ‘bout corp’rate mattahs” and kept shoving me off to “Human Resources” who of course never picked up. Which then rolled to the main operator. Who of course never picked up.
On WFG’s voice menu, the company lists “Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc” as though this was a co-company. However, this appears NOT to be an Aegon Transamerica but some other Transamerica company. When I spoke to a TFA Inc in St Pete, he told me that a John Hancock broker, Signator One, just bought Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc! See the release here:
Let’s skip the WFG Wikis and other flaky places and go right to the source. What does WFG’s site say? When you go here:
It says WFG “is a part of the Aegon Group” and that WFG “is a Transamerica Company” Plus you get a Venn-like diagram showing WFG and Transamerica clustered around Aegon.
Hmm. “WFG is a part of the Aegon Group” sure like Aegon owns WFG, right? But nowhere does it actually say “Aegon owns WFG!”
And then we read this on WFG’s site:
makes it clearer: “...Through OUR ALLIANCE with Transamerica, WFG is able to offer…” In other words, Transamerica is merely *allied* with WFG. Transamerica doesn’t necessarily *own* WFG.
Oh the deception!!
What does this mean for WFGers?
It means Aegon can cut ties with your org at any time. No more "Fortune 500 backing."
If the SEC/FTC and the law firms turn up the heat on WFG and close it down, no prob for Aegon/Transamerica. They'll be just fine. They shoulder no liability for WFG.
Then what happens to the teams you worked so hard to build?