HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Mar 14, 2017) - Manulife (HKSE: 945) today announces that it has been granted an Investment Company Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) license. The new company, known as Manulife Investment (Shanghai) Limited Company, is the first financial institution to receive the Investment Company WFOE license. This approval paves the way for Manulife to provide its global public market and private assets solutions in the fast-growing asset management industry in China.
Stringent requirements must be met in order to qualify for an Investment Company WFOE license compared to other WFOE categories. For example, the financial institution must own a majority stake in an existing entity in China. Manulife met this requirement through its 51% investment in the joint venture company, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd, based in Shanghai.
Kai Sotorp, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Wealth and Asset Management for Manulife, said: "Being the first financial institution to receive the Investment Company WFOE status puts us in an excellent position to expand our range of global product offerings to investors in China."
According to Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife, "This underlines Manulife's commitment to China and to the city of Shanghai by supporting its vision as a regional financial center. This also allows us to better fulfill our aspiration in serving Chinese investors to achieve their respective investment objectives."
The Investment Company WFOE license will pave the way for Manulife to serve a broader investor base such as small and medium-sized institutions, private banks and independent wealth management platforms. Potential solution offerings can range from traditional equities and fixed income products to private assets strategies, such as timberland, farmland, commercial real estate, etc.
Manulife's investments in China include Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd with US$3.2 billion of assets under management (AUM)1, and Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd. with an AUM of US$9.8 billion2.
Roy Gori, President and CEO of Manulife Financial Asia added: "This license will complement our joint ventures in serving investors in China, including Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance and Manulife TEDA Fund Management. Manulife-Sinochem was the first foreign invested joint-venture life insurer to sell mutual funds in China, while Manulife TEDA provides traditional retail and institutional asset management service and solutions for clients across the Chinese market."
Manulife Investment (Shanghai) Limited Company will be the latest extension of Manulife Asset Management's operations in Asia, which boasts a team of over 180 investment professionals3 in 10 markets in the region, and offers objective-oriented solutions across public and private markets with a multi-channel distribution approach.
1 AUM in USD as of 28 February 2017, rounded to the nearest billion. Manulife Asset Management's assets under management include assets of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd.'s 49% joint venture ownership structure. The methodologies used to compile the total assets under management are subject to change.
2 AUM in USD as of 28 February 2017, rounded to the nearest billion.
3 The total is comprised of investment professionals of Manulife Asset Management (Asia) and of Manulife TEDA.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers' needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. At the end of 2016, we had $977 billion (US$728 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made almost $26 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.