SHANGHAI (5 December 2018) - Eastspring Investments (Eastspring), the USD 1951 billion Asian investment management arm of Prudential plc, announced today at a ceremony in Shanghai that it has officially opened its Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China.
Eastspring’s new Shanghai office will be a full-service investment and distribution office, with the aim of serving the investment needs of high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors in China, offering Chinese investors the opportunity to invest in Eastspring’s global offshore funds and also providing global investors with the opportunity to invest directly in China via Eastspring’s onshore investment team.
The new office complements Eastspring’s existing joint venture partnership, CITIC-Prudential Fund Management Company, which focuses on the retail market and was established in 2005.
At the launch ceremony, Nic Nicandrou, Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Corporation Asia, said, “We see China as a central part of Prudential’s success, now and into the future. Prudential has come a long way since our establishment in London in 1848. We have provided financial security for generations of families from industrial workers in Victorian Britain to over 24 million financial services customers around the world today.
“Prudential is committed to serving the long-term protection needs of the Chinese people and helping safeguard their financial future. We remain steadfast to this commitment as we accelerate our growth in China with the opening of Eastspring’s Shanghai office,” said Mr Nicandrou.
Prudential was the first UK life insurer to enter the China market in 2000 with a joint venture with CITIC Group. Today, Prudential has a presence in 85 cities, with access to 78% of China’s GDP and 1.06 billion of China’s total population.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, John Edwards, British Consul-General Shanghai, said, “The UK is the largest exporter of financial services globally with London as the world’s number one international financial centre. UK banks, insurers, managers and FinTech firms are at the heart of both the global financial services sector and global trade. Firms like Prudential are at the centre of this and we’re really pleased to have Eastspring Investments, the Asian asset management business of Prudential, opening up here in Shanghai.”
According to Guy Strapp, Chief Executive, Eastspring, “This is a major milestone in the long-term development of our asset management business in China and follows on from establishing our IM WFOE in March and receiving our PFM licence in October”.
Eastspring currently employs 11 people in its Shanghai office, including five investment professionals, and is looking to have 20 staff by the end of 2019.
Earlier this year, Eastspring announced the appointment of Michael Lu, General Manager, China, who joined from Robeco, where he led their China business for more than 10 years. In June, industry veteran Michelle Qi joined Eastspring as Chief Investment Officer, Equities, China.
“As a leading Asia-based asset manager, China represents a significant growth opportunity for us. By 2021, it is estimated that around 50% of the USD 4.8 trillion of assets managed in Asia will be from China2, and that these assets, at USD 2.3 trillion, will be almost double those managed in 2016.
“This impressive growth in the investment industry is being propelled by China’s powerful economic expansion, and the increasing participation by both retail and institutional investors. Early next year we will be launching a growth equity China A-share strategy that will be distributed by domestic securities firms and third-party wealth managers,” Mr Strapp said.
1Assets Under Management as at 30 September 2018
2Cerulli. Includes Japan but not Australia. Refers to retail mutual funds only.