Following an extensive beauty parade, Singapore's largest insurance company Great Eastern Life has chosen Bank of New York as its new master custody provider for the next three years. The account has been won from incumbents Deutsche Bank and an unnamed domestic bank.

Bank of New York will perform investment accounting, performance measurement and compliance on a substantial portfolio of assets, the exact size of which is undisclosed. The bank will also be running daily net asset value (NAV) calculations for the insurer.

Great Eastern awarded the mandate after a full due diligence process that took about six months and involved all of the usual suspects in global custody in Asia. The assets of the insurer, and its funds division Straits Lion Asset Management, were transferred to Bank of New York on 1 January this year.

The win marks an expansion of the bank's focus from its traditional business of providing master custody to central banks and quasi-government bodies to targeting insurance and asset managmenet clients, says Avere Hill, head of relationship management for Asia Pacific.

"We continue to focus our efforts on the insurance and asset management sectors throughout the Asia Pacific and given how successful we have been to date we are expecting substantial growth in this area," says Hill, referring to account wins in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong. "The fact that there are questions hanging over some of our competitor's commitment to the business also strengthens our chances."

The challenge for Bank of New York will be calculating Great Eastern's NAV on a daily basis. The bulk of its traditional clients require only weekly and monthly reporting.

Bank of New York will manage the Great Eastern account from its hub in Singapore, where it inherited the custody infrastructure of JPMorgan back in 1996.