ING Capital Life Insurance, ING GroepÆs China joint venture, has further expanded its presence on the Mainland, officially opening its Shangdong branch.

The Shandong operations will be run out of Jinan, and is the third branch office in Northeast China for the Dalian-based ING Capital Life Insurance.

Initially, the Shandong operations will offer a mix of traditional life, annuities and medical policies. This product suite will be sold by tied-agents and insurance brokers. In time, bancassurance will likely be another distribution channel used in the Eastern province of 90 million people.

The insurer's Shandong offices will also be the first in INGÆs China network, and in the country, to introduce a global best practice sales model that is increasingly used in the Dutch firmÆs other business units.

According to ING, its model emphasises the provision of quality life insurance and wealth management services to customers by well-trained, high-quality and professional sales agents. The agents in question are selected from a pool of highly qualified individuals who display strong management skills and who understand that the provision of insurance needs to be backed by tailored information and advice to each customer.

ING Capital LifeÆs joint venture officially opened shop in Beijing in June 2005. This was followed swiftly by a second branch in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning province.

As of June 2006, ING Capital Life was among the top three insurers in terms of new policies in individual life insurance coverage in Dalian.