Manulife Becomes the First Financial Institution to Receive Investment Company WFOE License
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HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – March 2017 – Manulife 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), and Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd. with an AUM of US$9.8 billion.
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 professionals in 10 markets in the region, and offers objective-oriented solutions across public and private markets with a multi-channel distribution approach.
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