Capital Group names new Japan president; Robeco replaces Singapore chief; Hillhouse Capital hires ex-Blackstone MD; Vontobel expands EM debt team; HSBC Global AM names Apac ETF sales head; Manulife creates new digital business role; Stanchart names CIO for wealth management; TMF appoints fund services exec in Shanghai; and more.
New York LifeÆs Hong Kong CFO, Steve Miles, says he expects at least six new products to be rolled out, beginning in the second quarter of the year.
Initially, the insurer is planning to launch new terms for its existing Goalset and FlexiSavings products, which featuring an endowment after 20 years and higher dividends respectively. It then has plans to launch a new Universal Life Plan, operating like a bank account with declared interest rates, and a new Senior Care Plan aimed at simplifying existing arrangements.
Miles also says the insurer will launch a lifetime annuity plan for the first time in the region. ôIn the markets where annuities are strong, like in the US, UK or Australia, there is usually some kind of tax driver,ö he notes. ôIn Hong Kong we obviously donÆt have that, but what we do have is a general lack of government benefits, and a population that is becoming increasingly aware of the threat of living too long and not having saved enough.ö
Annuity payments would initially begin 10 years after payments commenced, although Miles says more flexibility will be introduced as customers begin to feel more comfortable with how the product works. Further details of the other products will be announced at the time of launch.
The insurer also affirms its commitment to the agency model of distribution, announcing that it is to raise the number of agents selling its products from 950 now to 1,200 by the end of the year.
Regional president and CEO Jeff Walker says that despite the growing involvement of banks in the distribution of insurance products, he is determined to stick to the insurerÆs traditional agency model. ôI hear many of our competitors talking about the need for scale to bring costs down,ö he says. ôI agree with that, but for us it is all about scale and quality û and weÆre only going to maintain the quality of our products and services by maintaining a highly trained team of professionals.ö
Last year the firm saw profits from Hong Kong surge 230% while its agency workforce grew by 15% in the second half of 2005, compared to an industry average of just 6.5%. The insurer currently earns about a quarter of its annual US$1 billion-worth of global revenues from the region, and according to Walker that proportion is continuing to grow.
New European Union regulations being introduced in March will raise the bar for ESG reporting and could well hurt the appeal of energy- and carbon-intensive stocks.
Hurdles such as foreign exchange limitations still exist, but the new rules could help private equity fund managers and investors with ESG integration.
JP Morgan AM hires Asia head of investment stewardship; Hines appoints Asia CIO; JLL names new India CEO; William Blair IM hires Asia sales head; Colliers appoints new Australia chief; Fidelity moves into private credit; Broadridge adds Apac COO; Nomura adds 20 private bankers in Hong Kong and Singapore and more.
By applying the ‘Investment Clock’ framework, investors can link factor behaviour across economic cycles in the US.