Allianz chooses Citi for custody in Asia

Standard Chartered loses out as Allianz hands Citi its insurance custody mandate for Asia, soon after the Bank Consortium Trust replaces HSBC as custodian of RCM's Hong Kong MPF funds.

Allianz has handed its regional insurance custody mandate to Citi, some two years after it appointed Standard Chartered to the role.

Citi will provide global and sub-custody custody, fund administration services and investment data services (IDS) reporting for the manager's life and general insurance customers in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Bruce Bowers, Asia chief executive at Allianz, cites the US bank's geographic reach in the region as one reason for the move. "Citi's extensive footprint across Asia provides an excellent platform to provide custody services to our companies across the region," he says. "This cooperation will support us to provide the highest level of services to our customers and to maintain profitable growth in Asia."

Representatives of Allianz, Citi and Standard Chartered declined to comment further on the switch. It is common practice among fund managers to review their third-party servicing mandates every two years, often requiring incumbent providers to compete against other firms for the mandate.

An Allianz representative says the firm signed the mandate on Monday and that its in-country entities will now begin meeting their Citi counterparts to discuss the transfer of funds to the bank. They declined to comment on how long this process would take.

Meanwhile, in January, Allianz Global Investors subsidiary RCM replaced HSBC with the Bank Consortium Trust as trustee for all its Hong Kong-based Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) plans. The mandate included custody and fund administration. MPF is the territory's retirement fund system.

Allianz's insurance business has 21 million customers in Asia, up from 17 million in 2007, across 15 markets. The group as a whole had €878 billion ($1.2 trillion) in third-party assets under management as of 31 September.

Citi had $11.8 trillion in assets under custody and $314 billion in liability balances globally as of the same date.

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