Manulife builds Taiwan business

Manulife completes its acquisition of Fuhwa Securities Investment Trust.
Manulife Asset Management Hong Kong has completed its acquisition of Fuhwa Securities Investment Trust, and has made two key appointments to lead the new business.

The acquisition, which was reported by AsianInvestor in August, adds seven new retail funds to ManulifeÆs current offering in Taiwan, 20 bank and security firm distributors and a significantly enhanced Taiwanese investment capability for the company.

Brian Hsieh has joined Manulife to lead Fuhwa SecuritiesÆ sales, product development and distribution efforts as general manager of the investment company. Andrew Wang has joined as CIO.

Hsieh comes to Manulife from Fidelity securities, where he was general manager and head of institutional business. Prior to Fidelity, he worked at Taishin Financial Holding Company and Grand Cathay Investment Service, both in Taiwan.

Wang will be responsible for integrating Fuhwa Securities into ManulifeÆs Asia investment operations, managing FuhwaÆs front, middle and back office investment operations within Taiwan. Wang has more than 15 years of financial market experience, including seven years with Prudential Financial Securities in Taiwan. His last position was managing director at Fuh Hwa Asset Management Hong Kong (no relation to Fuhwa Securities).

ôWe are pleased to have received the necessary approvals to proceed with this important phase in our long-term development in Greater China,ö says Marc Sterling, executive vice-president for Asia regional operations at Manulife Financial.

In August, Manulife International signed an agreement with Yuanta Financial Holding to acquire its wholly owned Fuhwa Securities. The sale involved 30 million shares at a unit price of NT$31 ($0.98) per share as base price, totalling NT$930 million ($29.6 million). Using the base price, Yuanta Financial estimates to book a disposal gain of around NT$487.38 million ($15.5 million).

The sale of Fuhwa Securities was done to comply with regulations. Taiwan bars financial holding companies to own more than one investment management company. Yuanta Financial also wholly owns Yuanta Asset Management.

Fuhwa Securities significantly complements ManulifeÆs existing wealth management offerings in Taiwan, diversifies its distribution platform, and provides an important outlet for its offshore product line-up. The acquisition gives Manulife a significant presence in TaiwanÆs fast-growing $165 billion asset management market, especially in segments well-suited to the fund houseÆs core global strengths as a manager.

With the addition of this new business in Taiwan, ManulifeÆs asset management footprint is extended to eight operations across Asia. These include operations in Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and two new licenses that were granted earlier this year for operations in Singapore and Malaysia.

Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the company offers clients a range of financial protection products and wealth management services. Funds under management totalled $393 billion as of June 30.
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