Sun Life Financial emphasised its global ambitions with the announcement that its Hong Kong subsidiary is acquiring the pension business of FWD Life Insurance Company.
The deal is just the latest move for Canada’s third largest insurer as it continues to expand its presence in Asia. Shifting demographics in the region, with an aging society and a growing middle class, mean Sun Life Hong Kong has been searching for ways to grow its business. Kevin Strain, President, Sun Life Financial Asia, revealed the reasoning behind the deal.
"This partnership provides an excellent opportunity for us to expand our distribution network,” he said. “It will further accelerate our already strong growth in the Hong Kong retirement market and follows our new strategic relationship with Schroder Investment Management.”
The acquisition from FWD Life Insurance means Sun Life will control the firm’s Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) and Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance businesses. Sun Life HK and FWD will also enter into an exclusive 15-year distribution agreement that will allow Sun Life HK to distribute its pension products through FWD's agency in Hong Kong. Financial terms of the transaction were not publically disclosed as of yet.
Also purchased the MPF business of Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong), Sun Life HK has emerged as a leading MPF provider in the Chinese financial centre. The acquisitions will add $769 million in MPF assets under management, bringing Sun Life HK's total AUM to $5.8 billion.
The transactions will require regulatory approval and are expected to be completed over the course of 2017 and 2018, subject to satisfactory closing conditions.
As of March this year, the Sun Life Financial group had total assets under management of C$861 billion worldwide.
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